By MAIMBO MWEEMBA
Mulonga Water Supply and Sanitation Company (MWSC) has embarked on the construction of 436 ventilation improved toilets (VIP) pit latrines to protect under groundwater.
The construction of VIP pit latrines Project is under the Zambia water and sanitation project (ZWSP) and will be done in selected low cost and Peri-urban areas in Chingola, Chilabombwe and Mufurila respectively.
MWSC Acting Managing Director Ndila Hamalambo said the project is aimed at demonstrating the ideal design of VIP toilets which ensures ground water protection from contamination.
Speaking during this year’s World Water Day commemorations, Mr Hamalambo also called for the protection of underground water by avoiding polluting the water underground, hence the move to build VIP toilets.
Mr Hamalambo said this year’s world water day has come at a time when it has become critical for Zambia to pay more attention to managing natural resources.
He said that at the moment it is difficult for the water utility company to provide sewer connections and offsite sanitation to some areas due to technical and financial constraints.
“The works being done in 18 Peri-urban areas are aimed at improving access to better sanitation for the less privileged through onsite sanitation. The criteria for beneficiaries was skewed towards the less privileged, we are confident that this particular project is the beginning of more interventions to protect underground water from contamination caused by improperly constructed and managed onsite sanitation facilities,” he said.
Mr Hamalambo has since called on the Local Authority to look into the legislation governing protection of groundwater and help with enforcement.
He also urged the Local Authorities to ensure all players are involved when opening new settlements.
And the District Commissioner Raphael Chimupi who was the Guest of Honour said Government is committed to the vision 2030 of providing access to clean and safe drinking water and sanitation without leaving anyone behind.
Mr Chimupi said that this vision may be derailed if significant issues such as the importance of groundwater is not managed and given prominence in planning.
“I am glad that Mulonga water has partnered with Chingola Municipal Council to observe this important event which brings to the fore one of the most important factors in life, groundwater. This partnership should not end here but be strengthened for the benefit of the community,” he said.
Mr Chimupi urged the general citizenry to be involved in the protection of groundwater by following procedure whether it is on acquiring land or construction of pit latrines.
Speaking at the same event Chingola Mayor Johnson Kang’ombe said there is urgent need to protect water bodies’ especially underground water.
And, Bishop Ellison Bwalya who spoke on behalf of the community urged the community to take responsibility and stop vandalism for the water utility to achieve their goals.
This year’s world water day theme is “groundwater: making the invisible visible” and it was celebrated in conjunction with Chingola Municipal Council.