Editor's Comment

Lusaka deserves good drainage system

FILE: PRESIDENT Lungu inspects the Lusaka Water Supply Sanitation and Drainage project at Evelyn Hone College in Lusaka on Thursday. The project has been financed by the Millennium Challenge Corporation of the United States of America. PICTURE: EDDIE MWANALEZA/ STATEHOUSE

THE Lusaka City Council (LCC) must comply with a Presidential directive to demolish illegal properties constructed on water and sanitation infrastructure.
Illegal structures should not stand in the way of development.
After all, the illegality has been tolerated by the local authority, which allowed people to squatter on water and sanitation infrastructure.
Now that there is an opportunity to restore the capital city’s pride through the Bombay drainage project, which is part of the US$355 million Lusaka Water Supply, Sanitation and Drainage (LWSSD) Project, the city fathers should do what is expected of them.
Lusaka has for decades suffered from the effects of floods.
These floods have come with a package of land degradation and water-borne diseases, among other side effects.
A lot of tax-payers’ money and man hours have gone into trying to construct drainages and overcome flooding without success.
But the United States government, through the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) in partnership with the Zambian government, has decided to build infrastructure to stand the test of time.
But illegal structures along the water and sanitation infrastructure may stand against this life-time project.
That is why President Lungu has directed the local authority to urgently, and without compromise, demolish illegal properties constructed on water and sanitation infrastructure.
Mr Lungu said his administration is on firm ground and will not support illegality regardless of who is perpetuating it.
President Lungu said Government will not entertain structures that are a hindrance to the effective supply of water and sanitation services to the public.
President Lungu is right. Whoever is building is doing so at their own peril.
Mr Lungu says whether those who are building are Patriotic Front officials or they have papers from the Commissioner of Lands, they should face the consequences of the law.
This is because most local authorities have condoned the people building anywhere.
There is need for normalcy to be restored because we are a country of laws.
Besides, Zambia is lucky to have been identified by the Americans, who have decided to render a helping hand.
The Bombay Drainage project is a template for construction of drainages in the country.
A whopping US$355 million has been invested in the project.
Such an investment, as the head of State said during his tour of the projects on Thursday, should not be wasted.
Mr Lungu has said the project has to finish by 2018 because if it remains hanging, the Americans will withdraw funding.
We are also happy that Zambia is receiving goodwill from other countries in dealing with the drainages.
Poly-Technical, a Chinese company, has written to the local authority proposing to finance the other five primary drainages in the capital city.
Once all the primary drainages are constructed, flooding in the capital city will be a thing of the past.
Zambia must deal with drainages once and for all.

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