ARTHUR MWANSA, Mwense
MAY 7, 2015 will forever be remembered in history for the Chishinga and Lunda speaking people of Mwense district in Luapula Province.
It is the day Chief Lubunda and his subjects celebrated the commissioning of the Small Town Water Supply and Sanitation project by WaterAid Zambia.
The occasion that took place at Lubunda Junior Secondary School signified a very important milestone for WaterAidâ€™s work and mission to transform lives through improving access to safe water, hygiene and sanitation particularly in the worldâ€™s poorest communities.
About 13,244 people in Luapula Province will have access to clean and safe drinking water through the Small Town Water Supply Sanitation Project.
Improved access to water supply and sanitation facilities has significantly reduced hardship and saved time for residents in Chief Lubundaâ€™s chiefdom.
Over the next three years WaterAid is aiming to reach 50,000 individuals with clean water and 50,000 individuals with access to a toilet.
At the project launch Luapula Province Minister Brigadier General Benson Kapaya said it is pleasing that WaterAid Zambia has been working in the WASH sector since 1992 when it responded to Governmentâ€™s request for emergency support during a severe drought in Southern province.
General Kapaya said in a speech read on his behalf by his assistant secretary Joshua Kamanya that â€œWaterAidâ€™s aim is to increase access to safe water and improve sanitation and hygiene to poor and marginalised communitiesâ€.
WaterAid Zambia has so far spent over K3 million towards increasing access to safe water and improving sanitation and hygiene to marginalised communities in Luapula province.
Some water supply improvements in Luapula Province include:
Lubunda Small Town Piped Water Scheme which has since been completed, comprising two boreholes fitted with solar pumps and pumping to 4 x 12, 000 litres storage tanks.
Lubwe Small Town Piped Water Scheme which has been fitted with chlorinator and is being managed by the community water management committee.
Mwamfuli Urban Water Supply and Sanitation Improvements. The facilities will give 4,831 people access to safe and clean water.
At Lubunda Junior Secondary School, two ablution blocks have been constructed (one for boys and another for girls).
In Mwamfuli WaterAid Zambia supported the improvement of 382 householdâ€™s latrines. Furthermore WaterAid Zambia working together with Samfya District council has constructed a fee paying toilet at the main market. This facility is providing the much needed sanitation services to marketers and travelling public
WaterAid Zambia head of programmes Saul Banda said his organisation would like to work with local partners, collaborate with Government and other stakeholders who understand local issues so that together we can support and undertake practical and sustainable projects.
WaterAid Zambia will also work with its local partners in Luapula and Southern provinces to construct new WASH facilities rehabilitate dysfunctional services and build local capacity to sustain project outcomes while placing an emphasis on providing WASH access and hygiene behaviour education in schools and surrounding communities.
Mr Banda said in schools, WaterAid Zambia will construct latrines and was rooms to enable pulps teachers to access improved sanitation during the school day and provide adolescent girls with a private and clean place to wash and change while menstruating.
WaterAid Zambia has also pledged to identify and rehabilitate 80 water points which have fallen into despair.
Chief Lubunda said he is delighted that through the hard work of Government and Mwense District Member of Parliament David Mabumba WaterAid has since 2014 embarked on constructing of modern water system of piped water which has satisfactorily been completed.
Chief Lubunda said since independence in 1964, the people in his area have not had access to clean tapped water.
The traditional leader said the move by WaterAid Zambia to bring clean water to his chiefdom is a welcome move which benefit his people with access clean water.
It is hoped that these facilities are used properly by all users.
ARTHUR MWANSA, Mwense