JIMMY CHIBUYE, Kalomo
FIRST Lady Esther Lungu has commended World Vision Zambia (WVZ) for supplementing Governmentâ€™s efforts in uplifting and improving the lives of Zambians.
Mrs Lungu said WVZ deserves the commendation for helping the needy in society because Government alone cannot meet the peopleâ€™s requirements.
The First Lady said this on Friday after touring Jonathan Sim Secondary School which was built by WVZ with the support of the community in Senior Chief Chikantaâ€™s area.
â€œNo single government or institution can address the plight of the people especially those in rural areas. This partnership between institutions like WVZ and Government should be commended,â€ she said.
Mrs Lungu is happy that WVZ in collaboration with Government has built four rural health centres, trained and supported more than 300 community health workers and supporting health systems strengthening through community-based health volunteers.
She is delighted the partnership between Government and WVZ has resulted in improved health over 9,000 women and 24,000 children in Chikanta, contributing to the overall reduction of under-five and maternal mortality.
The First Lady said over 200 boreholes with hand pumps have been constructed and a further four mechanised boreholes have also been done in Chikanta chiefdom.
Mrs Lungu said more than 40,000 people have been reached with the Wash, Sanitation and Hygiene interventions to this date.
She said WVZ has gone further to put up a solar-powered computer laboratory at Jonathan Sim Secondary School.
The First Lady donated K5,000 to the school.
WVZ national director Mark Kelly said his organisation aims at partnering with communities, the government, traditional leadership and other stakeholders to alleviate the effects of poverty through a broad range of interventions that include clean water, education, and a secure income for families among others.
â€œIt is through these interventions that we seek to ensure that children and families thrive and are able to reach their full potential,â€ Mr Kelly said.
He said in 2009 , WVZ commenced a large-scale water project which also looks at sanitation and hygiene practices in Southern Province.
Mr Kelly said the WVZ water programme is fully established with heavy duty rigs and has extended into the other provinces.
He said the provision of clean water and sanitation facilities has enhanced education outcomes for boys and girls and has also improved the safety of girls and women as they no longer have to travel long distances to draw water.
â€œWVZ is working with Government and other partners to improve the quality of education through literacy. This is being done by ensuring that children receive an education built on the principles of access, quality and equity,â€ Mr Kelly said.
And grade 10 pupil Linate Simutenge appealed to Government to electrify the school and build a proper road leading to the learning institution.
JIMMY CHIBUYE, Kalomo