Politics hamper water sector development-Minister

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Local Government and Housing Minister John Phiri has observed that politicking in the water sector has hampered the attainment of best results in the sector.


Dr. Phiri has therefore implored water companies in the country to remove politics from the water sector.


He said the people of Zambia will not have adequate safe drinking water in their homes and other places unless water companies work extra hard and put their houses in order.


The minister was speaking in Lusaka today when he officiated at a one-day third national seminar organized by the Copperbelt Waste Operators Partnership Project (CWOP) and sponsored by the European Union, Water and Sanitation for the Urban Poor, Vitens International and the government of Zambia.


The Copperbelt Waste Operators Partnership Project (CWOP) is being piloted by three Copperbelt based water utility firms namely Kafubu, Mulonga and Nkana Water and Sewerage Companies whose core business is to promote improved access to adequate water and sanitation for urban and low income communities.


Dr. Phiri further pointed out that lack of investment in terms of infrastructure against the growing population has also hampered the growth of the water sector.


He however said government and its corperating partners were addressing the water sector challenges by mobilizing resources towards achieving sustainable development goals on water and sanitation.


Dr. Phiri has meanwhile launched a handbook on good practice in non-revenue water reduction.


He has since challenged water experts to utilise the book.


And National Water Supply and Sanitation Council (NWASCO) Managing Director Kelvin Chitumbo challenged water firms in the country to ensure that customers get value for their money.


Mr. Chitumbo disclosed that the water regulatory agency will introduce a deliberate policy exchange programme to document good practices for commercial utilities. 


Meanwhile, Mulonga Water and Sewerage Company Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Kanyembo Ndhlovu said it was the three water companies in the CWOP will work towards delivering efficient services to customers.


The third national seminar was attended by Copperbelt Minister Mwenya Musenge, Local Government and Housing Deputy Minister Nicholas Banda and his Permanent Secretary Stanford Msichili and eight other provincial water companies Chief Executive Officers.