Govt urges access to safe water

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Govt urges access to safe water

Mansa, January 30, 2015, ZANIS – Luapula Province Acting Permanent Secretary Joyce Nsamba has called for concerted efforts among stakeholders in the water sector to enhance access by the residents.

Ms Nsamba said access to clean and safe water, improved sanitation and better hygiene practices for the people in the province was cardinal.

The Acting Permanent Secretary made the call during a Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Stakeholders meeting in Mansa today.

She called for support towards securing sustainable and equitable access to safe water supply and proper sanitation so that the province could meet the basic needs of the people for improved health and poverty reduction.

She said as the new year begins, the stakeholders should be proud and encouraged that their efforts in the sector were responsible for the favourable and significant progress towards water and sanitation targets at national and regional levels.

Ms Nsamba said she was happy that the province has already recorded a 92 per cent improved sanitation access targets for December 2014 .

She further revealed that Chienge district was poised to be the first Open Defecation Free district in Zambia and if possible in Africa.

She said Chienge has recorded impressive indicators in the water sector despite its remote geographical location and difficult conventional development indicators.

She added that government was proud of the all the stakeholders in the sector working in Chienge for their efforts.

The Acting PS said government was determined to support all the 2015 planned for piped water schemes and ground water developments aimed at improving safe water access and proper sanitation for the people.

Ms Nsamba also acknowledged the development of the manual drilling technology for boreholes which could sink up to 30 meters deep which would prove user friendly for Islands like Kilwa in Nchelenge, Kansenga in Samfya and Lunga district where the water table is high and the heavy water drilling machines cannot reach due to transportation challenges.

She said the manual drilling technology implements will enable majority of the hard to reach areas and places in the province to have access to clean and safe water and enhanced sanitation and hygiene.

The Acting Permanent Secretary noted that the UNDP 2013 Report on the water sector indicated that Luapula Province was standing at 69 percent of the proportion of the population without access to an improved water source while 86 per cent was the proportion of the population without access to improved sanitation facilities.

She said the Provincial Millennium Developmental Goal Target for December 2015 was to have 87 per cent of the population with access to improved sanitation and 75 per cent of the population with access to an improved water source.

Department of Housing and Infrastructure Development Senior Engineer Sydney Simute standing in for the Principal Water Engineer Vernon Ngulube said the sector needed a united front all stakeholders in order to overcome to challenges of access to clean and water, improved sanitation and hygiene practices for the people in the province.

He added that the manual drilling technology will be handy in drilling boreholes in areas which have a higher water table so that majority of the people could have access to clean and safe water and also improved sanitation and hygiene practices.

And Chiefs and Traditional Affairs Officer Tobias Tembo said traditional leaders in the Province would play a pivotal role in mobilizing their subjects in the management of the improved water sources through their village headmen and women in their chiefdoms but need leadership skills and capacity building so that they could be effective development agents.

He said the village headmen and women were key to any developmental agenda for their people but needed leadership capacity building which was currently lacking in most of them.