Features

Clean, safe water cheers residents

WATER tank at Nsombo Primary School.

KELVIN MBEWE, Luwingu
RESIDENTS of Nsombo and Mwando villages in Lupososhi Constituency in Luwingu district will always live to remember February 20, 2018. This is the day that the two communities received clean and safe drinking water. At the same time, they were able to access ablution blocks.
This development, which was facilitated by World Vision Zambia at a cost of K1.7 million, left the beneficiaries smiling.
With these facilities in place, the villagers no longer have to walk long distances to access a basic need like water.
And when they want to answer the call of nature, the ablution blocks are just a stone’s throw away.
Chabala Puta, a 13-year-old Grade Six pupil at Nsombo Primary School is seeing a flushable toilet for the first time but he understands the benefits that come with such a facility.
“Most of the pupils shunned using the pit latrines because of their unhygienic state. The bush was the only option,” he said.
Beatrice Chipasha, 70, of Nsombo village, is equally impressed with the move by World Vision Zambia to put in place the facilities.
“We have boreholes but the water is not as clean as the one provided by World Vision,” she said.
The effort by the non-governmental organisation has also struck a chord of gratitude from the traditional ruler.
Chief Chabula of the Bisa people is grateful to Government for allowing World Vision to carry out its duties, which he said will improve livelihoods in his chiefdom.
“Previously, my people walked long distances to access water at the rivers but we now have clean water nearby. It gives me lots of joy,” he said.
The project by World Vision will improve access to safe and sustainable water, sanitation and hygiene for over 1,160,000 people in areas where the organisation operates.
In providing communities with facilities for water, World Vision believes that no child should stop school and jeopardise their future because of lack of access to water, sanitation and hygiene facilities in schools.
World Vision national director Mark Kelly wants communities to have easy access to water and sanitation facilities so that they live happier lives.
The non-governmental organisation wants to see more children, especially girls, remain in school by providing them with other items such as sanitary towels.
So far, over 6,000 girls have benefitted from the organisation’s provision of 32 menstrual hygiene and management facilities that it has built in 32 schools.
Apparently, Government and World Vision have similar goals to ensure that people are provided with clean and safe drinking water and proper sanitation.
Government prioritises the provision of clean and safe drinking water as an overall goal of poverty alleviation and promotion of sustainable economic development.
In Government’s Vision 2030 and Seventh National Development Plan (7NDP), provision of clean water and improved sanitation is a priority.
The engagement of both Government and the private sector, like World Vision, is a partnership that is yielding fruit.
The Ministry of Water Development, Sanitation and Environmental Protection has prioritised investments for infrastructure development.
An example is the acquisition of a US$2.4 million loan from the Arab Bank for Economic Development (BADEA) to complete phase two of water projects in Mpika, Mbala and Kasama.
And speaking at the same event, Northern Province Permanent Secretary Elias Kamanga, who was represented by Luwingu District Commissioner Patrick Chanda, commended World Vision for it’s continued support to Government in uplifting the standards of living for many communities across the country.
“Having access to piped water and a modern ablution block at a school will enhance children’s attendance in school and results in high concentration and improved performance in class. It is also true that levels of pupils dropping out of school is high, especially among girls,” he said.
And Northern provincial education officer Humphrey Simutowe was happy at the commissioning of the ablution block and water facilities in Nsombo and Mwando.
He commended World Vision for making significant contributions towards the realisation of sustainable development goals.


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