Lusaka City Deputy Mayor Chilando Chitangala has said Lusaka was suffering from a sanitation crisis which was claiming people’s lives through annual cholera, typhoid and dysentery outbreaks.
Ms. Chitangala said the sanitation crisis was also causing severe environmental pollution.
ZANIS reports that the deputy mayor was speaking during the official opening of media training for Editors at Chita Lodge in Kafue district.
She said the peri-urban, which represents at least 70 percent of urban population, was the most affected by the sanitation crisis.
“Access to sanitation services is particular in lower peri-urban settlements as sanitation provision is generally left to residents who mostly use unsafe pit latrines of which most of them are in poor condition,” she said.
Ms. Chitangala added that, “The sharing of these latrines is also a common practice especially for those who do not have a facility on their property in areas which are densely populated while there are isolated cases of open defecation”.
According to the deputy mayor, the other risk was that 57 percent of Lusaka’s water supply was sourced from within the city.
“The city has an unusually high ground water table which is prone to contamination particularly in high density areas without proper sanitation facilities. This is against a projected population growth of five percent and is estimated to grow to five million by 2030,” she said.
Other than noting the inadequacies in the provision of sanitation, Ms. Chitangala added that the crisis was denying people their right to basic facilities hence the outbreaks of water borne diseases.
She said the introduction of the Lusaka Sanitation Programme (LSP) was in line with government’s vision 2030 and the sixth national development plan (SNDP) which is aimed at bettering the lives for ordinary Zambians.
The LSP’s objective is to increase access to sanitation services in selected areas of Lusaka and strengthen Lusaka Water and Sewerage Company’s capacity to manage sanitation services.
Through the provision of adequate sanitation services, the programme is also expected to improve Lusaka’s public health outcomes such as the annual cholera outbreaks.
The project is funded by four International Financial Institutions (IFIS) which are the European Investment Bank, Kredistanstal fur Weiderauf bank (KFW), the African Development Bank (ADB) and the World Bank.
And Lusaka Water and Sewerage Company (LWSC) Director Manuel Mutale said the quality of life will drastically improve for the people in Lusaka when the LSP is fully implemented.
Mr. Mutale said water related illnesses will also reduce because people will no longer resort to unsafe alternatives because there will be enough clean and safe water.