|Unsecured water like this source is a risk to humanity, globally.pix.emaze.com|
Dec. 2 (Zambia Informer) ----- Germany and Britain have jointly financed the Zambia’s Government-through the private sector under a Euro 27 million International Water Stewardship programme to provide a clean resource in the capital, Lusaka.
This follows increased concerns of water bodies in Lusaka being vulnerable to contamination coupled with increased cases of climatic change effects that have adversely affected water tables that have ultimately affected the unending needs of the more than 2million population in the capital.
The programme, jointly undertaken with the private sector involves 16 Government and private institutions including the local municipality that seek sustained usage and consumption of clean water that have come under severe threat from environmental related activities including defecation, pollution, washing and poor solid waste management which has affected the cleanliness of the resource.
During the launch of the joint partnership between the cooperating partners, government agencies and other members of the private sector including Zambia Chambers of Commerce and Industry (ZACCI), World Wide Fund for Nature, University of Zambia, among others, Germany and Britain said it had supported the Government in the provision of clean water in the capital to meet the desirous needs of consumers following several appeals following increased cases of contamination of water bodies.
Britain is co-financing the project dubbed: Lusaka Water Security Initiative (LuWSI) , through its foreign wing- the Department for International Development (DfID), a United Kingdom government department responsible for administering overseas aid and Germany’s Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) or GmbH a company specialising in international development and is headquartered in Bonn and Eschborn.
Germany Ambassador to Zambia Achim Burkart said the integrated project started in 2012 with the Itawa springs project in Ndola when GIZ was approached by the Zambia Breweries Plc to assist them overcome problems faced with the company’s shared water source which has come under severe stress from encroachments, farming and brick making activities, among others, which threatened its US$150 million investment in its brewery and soft drink manufacturing plant.
The Germany agency later acted as a honest broker in the matter by helping the Zambia Breweries Plc to partner with local community and others from the private sector including the Ndola Municipality and the local water utility company, Kafubu Water and Sewerage Company to overcome the problem and restore the ecological problem that had emanated from the shared water resource.
Burkart added that the partnership with the 15-members of the private sector under the LuWSi, including the Water Regulatory Authority (WARMA) will among other advantages help to overcome climatic change effects.
The LuWaSi project will further assist in the provision of climatically-friendly sanitation in peri-urban areas of Lusaka, whose population, remains a threat on the security of the water source from contamination, hence the security is no longer guaranteed as the population, relying on water bodies continues to increase in view of the urbanization.
DfID’s head of delegation in Zambia, Bruce Lawson Mac Dowell regretted that water supply in most developing countries has come under intense pressure because increased unplanned structures hence the need to assist with such initiatives which have been undertaken in other parts of the countries.
He noted, however that water sources have remained a threat to most of the economies despite the abundance of water, as much of it has been either polluted or contaminated because of the increasing demand for unplanned structures or settlements hence the donors’ commitment to assist.
Chairperson for LuSWi and leader of Zambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Geoffrey Sakulanda commended the donors for their support towards the project.
He was however quick to point out that securing water everywhere remains a challenge and remains a complex issued. He called for concerted effort by all players in ensuring that the project, launched, benefits the Lusaka populace and further ensure it remains sustainable even after donors leave for want of resources to spare for the continuation of the programme.
World Wide Fund for nature (WWF) Nyambe Nyambe while commending the donors for their unwavering support towards making Lusaka water secure through such initiatives called for increased mobilization and commitment from the private sector to ensure such projects do not falter after donors reduce or withdraw their funding amid growing commitments to various other projects.
And Lusaka deputy mayor, Chilando Chitambala, who is also Roma Ward 17 councilor said the local municipality was happy with the gesture extended to the private sector of securing the water and reiterated President Edgar Lungu’s warning that the local authority will not allow any structures that will be constructed on water points to avoid contamination and those found risk being demolished.
On concerns of unregulated and indiscriminate sinking of boreholes in various parts of Lusaka, which has contributed to low water levels and contamination of water bodies, managing director at WARMA Paul Kapotwe warned that with the revised laws now in effect, all those contractors seeking to sink boreholes need to be registered with the agency while every bore sunk,, need to carry specifications outlined by his organisation to save the underground water from further contamination and abuse.
And officially opening the launch of the LuWSi project, Bishop Dr. Edward Chomba while commending the donors for their unwavering support towards Zambia’s attainment of Sustainable Development Goals, of which providing clean and safe drinking water for all is a pre-requisite regretted at Zambia’s failure to maximize its vast headwaters, in which Zambia is estimated to own 60 percent of water bodies in the Southern African region.
He, however, urged stakeholders to ensure that since water, deemed “life”, its security remains paramount for economic growth and wondered why the country has not maximized on the availability of among other water sources, the Kafue basin, Barotse, among others that can assist make the commodity abundant for all if well managed and secured.