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George residents face fewer challenges

FOR most families in Lusaka’s George Township, a simple plastic container is considered a treasured household property. In this highly densely populated community, the container is essential for families living far from a water source because it is strong, easy to use to carry and serve as good storage for water. For Meznala Nambeye, 75, one 20 litre plastic container of water lasts her a couple of days. She lives alone in a small house in the eastern part of George Township. George Township is an informal settlement home to over 240, 000 people. In this area, access to clean and safe drinking water has been a challenge for residents for many years. Those with access to communal taps or water kiosks have to queue up as early as 03:00 hours in the morning to have access to water. Communal taps/water kiosks are opened for people at 04:00 hours every morning and two hours later at 06:00 hours. Those who miss out on the two hour- period have to wait until the next day. “I cannot manage to wake up at 03: 00 hours in the morning to draw water, I am an old woman,” Ms Nambeye says. She had 11 children of which eight have died. The surviving three are married and live with their own families. And as is normally the case, women and school age girls are responsible for collecting water for their families. Rhoda Tembo, 14, who attends George Primary School, has incorporated the routine of fetching water as part of the chores. Rhoda’s family has several 20-litre plastic water containers. On school days, Rhoda wakes as early as 04:00 hrs in the morning to join the queue at the water kiosk near her home. Rhoda dreams of one day having piped water in her family home. “It would make me happy as it would mean I don’t have to miss school. I will also have time to play with my friends,” she says. Access to water is essential as it enables them practise good hygiene and sanitation. However, the current CLICK TO READ MORE