THE on-going rehabilitation of Lusaka Water and Sewerage Company (LWSC) infrastructure is long-overdue.
The infrastructure, which pumps water from the Kafue River and transports it to the capital city and beyond, had become rusty and unable to cope with the growing population and booming real estate and industrial developments.
Therefore, the investment by the Millennium Challenge Account is a perfect opportunity to overhaul the water and sanitation network to bring it to speed with the ever growing population and infrastructure developments.
Under this project, a gift from the American people, vital infrastructure such as pipes, pumps and treatment plants will be upgraded to meet current and future demands for safe and portable drinking water.
Water is life and is indispensable to all facets of life because it is a conduit for economic development.
It is critical in our lives for bathing, drinking and cooking just as it is essential in manufacturing, agriculture, the hospitality industry and the health sector.
The multi-sectoral dependence on water is the reason we do not like it even a bit when there is a disruption of water supply.
Already, close to a million people in Lusaka have felt the impact of the shutdown of water at Iolanda pumping station at the Kafue River.
More will feel the impact as LWSC continues to overhaul the water infrastructure in a bid to serve the citizens and industry better.
The overhaul, which is giving the water and sanitation infrastructure a new lease of life, is therefore inevitable because it will sort out the long-term problems LWSC had faced.
There has been rapid urbanisation, which has seen the birth of several townships along the LWSC chain.
Ordinarily, LWSC, Zesco and other attendant services and utilities are expected to be in place when townships are being created.
However, it has been the opposite as LWSC has been chasing townships to service them long after people have built houses.
This has made it impossible for LWSC to catch up with such developments, resulting in the utility being deemed to be incompetent by customers who wanted to be connected to start accessing water at their homes and businesses.
Beyond this, we see an opportunity for LWSC to improve the quality and quantity of water it has been providing to its catchments.
We hope that LWSC will take advantage of the Millenium Challenge Account to start providing quality water.
It is also our hope that LWSC will computerise its operations so that it can enhance its monitoring of water quality and leakages to be able to promptly attend to complaints and concerns of stakeholders.
The era of unexpected disruptions in water service should be a thing of the past.