Editor's Comment

Improving water supply in Lusaka

THE sourcing of funds by the Lusaka Water and Sewerage Company to improve water supply in the capital is good news to every resident.
It is gratifying that part of the funds for the rehabilitation works have already been sourced by government from the Millennium Challenge Corporation.
Further, the water utility company should be commended for focusing on investments to improve water service delivery to its clients.
We all know how important water is to everyday life. That is the water utility company’s motto is “Water is Life”.
No human being can do without water; no animal can live without the liquid, neither can a plant grow without it. It gives invaluable support to life.
The demand for water supply in Lusaka has been growing faster and it has exceeded the supply of the commodity.
That is why, in ensuring that residents get a share of some of the water supply, the LWSC began rationing the commodity.
But it can be said that in some cases, the rationing multiplied into total lack of supply altogether.
There are some townships, Lilanda, for example, where residents have thrown away all the urban luxuries to dig shallow wells within their yards just to secure the commodity.
Avondale is well-known for lack of water supply and when residents are visited with luck, their taps will run only at night.
Another township where the commodity is scarce is Kaunda Square Stage One and it is not uncommon to see residents on television complaining about lack of supply.
The erratic water supply in the city has, in some instances, resulted in failure to keep surroundings clean and green while those who desire to grow vegetables for household consumption have had to rethink their ideas.
Residents are bombarded by campaigns about how to conserve water and they understand that it is indeed a vital commodity from which all should have a share.
However, the erratic water supply is something that the Lusaka Water and Sewerage Company should have been continually taking measures to address.
Granted, the population of the city has been growing but one can be tempted to say there has not been corresponding growth in terms of water supply.
Maybe a question for thought. When the Avondale Housing complex was put up, what plans were there for the water supply to the area?
Maybe some other townships, like Lilanda, are old and probably their pipes might have become rusty with time. But have there been measures to improve the water reticulation system in the city?
There have been a number of areas that have since come up and for sure, the city has not stopped growing. The distances between Chongwe and Lusaka, Kafue and Lusaka, Mumbwa and Lusaka and Lusaka and Chibombo have shrunk considerably.
In such areas, residents depend on boreholes because they are far from the water supply system. It should be borne in mind that this is impacting on the underground water table.
It is not an over-statement that each piece of vacant land within the city has a title holder. The only room for expansion is now on the outskirts  and this is how Lusaka has been expanding.
As LWSC seeks to develop infrastructure to improve water supply, it should take into consideration how to cater for the future generations as well.
We hope the planned project for a new 50 million litres will improve water supply and sanitation as well as result in the good health of residents.
It is also commendable that the LWSC is planning another water treatment plant with a capacity of 600 million litres to meet the growing demand by consumers.
Water makes a nation healthy. It prevents the outbreak of diseases while enhancing people’s livelihoods.
It is imperative that every Zambia nrallies behind the water utility company to help it achieve its goals so that, in line with Millennium Development Goal seven, all can have access to clean drinking water.


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