Columnists Features

Water concept and industrialisation

PAUL Moonga.

THE Government of the Republic of Zambia has crafted the 7th National Development Plan to operate as a tracking device for the economic activities that have been lined up to drive industrialisation.

The plan seeks to fast-track Zambia’s attainment of the middle-income status to help with more opportunities for employment and local investment which has been referred to as Black Economic Empowerment in other countries.

As a build-up to the industrialisation targets, the government is rolling out infrastructure development projects throughout the country in order to prepare ground for growth.
There has been a realisation that economic growth without a good road network would be hard to achieve.
Fortunately, these undertakings are being lifted at a time when a revolution to overhaul the water reticulation, water distribution and production by the Patriotic Front (PF) Government and its international co-operating partners has reached the second gear.
The projects were jump-started with the signing of USD355 million agreement between the Zambian Government and the Millennium Challenge Account Zambia (MCAZ).
This was followed by other donors who have come on board to improve sanitation services to correspond with the Kafue Bulk Water Supply to Lusaka province.
This is the biggest gift that an industrialisation boost can ever receive. This is because water is a very cardinal incentive to any economy because nothing functions without it.
Literally everything around human activity revolves around a reliable supply of water. Going forward, water supply must take the lead in all sectors of the economy for us to achieve industrialisation and the targets spelt out in the National Development Plan.
Therefore, it is my duty today to explain the place of water compared to any other existing natural resource as an enabler of economic development.
These projects will therefore take the right position in guiding the industrialisation programme.
It is the main driver of the construction, manufacturing, tourism and agriculture industries.
These are the main factors that are contained in the development plan and the industrialisation programme.
Its proper management and efficient use is very crucial. The ongoing construction of and replacement of water systems is a good response to the myriad of complaints raised by the residents of Lusaka mainly around lack of water.
Lusaka Water and Sewerage Company (LWSC) which is charged with the responsibility of generating and distribution of water in the province is currently losing colossal volumes of water to leakages and illegal diversion.
In fact, about 30 percent of the water sourced from Kafue River is lost through various ways.
These range from illegal connections, broken pipes and leaked storage tanks.  The company has started the process of rehabilitating and replacing them so that the volumes of water being transported from Kafue do not go to waste.
The residents of Lusaka, who are the beneficiaries of this water have a role to play in the management of water going forward.
The company cannot be everywhere at any given time. In most cases, water leakages go unreported for several days without the knowledge of the company. Residents have a responsibility to report water leaks to the company in order to have them repaired.
It must be noted that these leaks have a bearing on the residents where the leaked water is intended to reach. Secondly, the residents who pay money for this water to leave Kafue and reach Lusaka should consider the fact that the money they have paid is going to waste.
The money they pay should be used for its intended purpose should be used for the right purpose.
This should compel them to report all incidents of broken pipes and other water systems.
The responsibility to manage water is for all residents of Lusaka because of its value-chain to any country. When water fails to reach a particular area, construction of an office block equally stalls.
This is probably a potential employer of a number of youths including you who is ignoring a leaked water system.
Lusaka Water and Sewerage Company is for the people of Lusaka province and they must take ownership in processes that improve performance.

The author is LWSC board chairperson.

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