President Hakainde Hichilema yesterday commissioned the 50 million litters Kafue Bulk Water Supply Project, with a call on water utility companies to address leakages to ensure enough clean water reached consumers.
Mr. Hichilema has also urged Water Development and Sanitation Minister Mike Mposha to connect Kafue district to the project, saying it is unfair to produce water from Kafue and transmit it to Lusaka without supplying to the local communities which are facing water shortages.
Speaking during the commissioning ceremony at Kafue’s lolanda Water Treatment Plant, he said the Lusaka Water and Sanitation Company (LWSC) should ensure that water was not lost.
“Let us look after the that is extracted at great cost, transmitted to Lusaka, when in Lusaka it is wasted. This is business. This water must reach the intended beneficiaries in Lusaka and… Kafue,” Mr. Hichilema said.
He added:” let us address the leakages of expensive water in Lusaka.
Water is precious. Not a litre should be wasted.”
Mr. Hichilema said prudent water use should extend to how households used the commodity.
“We must have a programme for grey water (waste water from domestic and industrial set up), from factories, homes. We need to process the water to ensure efficiency…and combat climate change. It means care of water in totality,” he said.
Mr. Hichilema said Kafue should be connected to the Kafue Bulk Water Supply Project line to ensure that the area also addressed it’s water problems.
“Minister…we must accept that this project is good for Lusaka, but a serious omission was made but we need a connection for Kafue… Minister do not take that as an instruction, but if you do not implement it, it will turn into an instruction,” he said.
Mr. Hichilema urged the local communities to maintain and guard the infrastructure, protect it against vandalism so that the facility could last longer and benefit more people.
He said anyone found vandalising the infrastructure would be arrested and assured that the government would continue to invest in water catchment areas to protect water sources to help lengthen the life of the natural environment that generated water.
Speaking earlier, Chinese Ambassador to Zambia Du Xiaohui said the Kafue Bulk Water Supply Project demonstrated the resilience of the Zambia-China relations which dated from the construction of the TAZARA railway and signalled better things ahead.
Mr. Du said the integrated project, which would supply Lusaka with clean water, had resulted in moren than 1,000 locals being trained, further showing the benefits of relations between Zambia and China which had not been dampened by challenges over the years.
“Nothing can hinder the determination of the two peoples…The best is yet to come,” he said.
Mr. Du also said China was willing to help Zambia rehabilitate the TAZARA rail line.
Water Development and Sanitation Minister Mike Mposha said the project which would benefit 500,000 people through clean water supply, would also help to improve LWSC’s financial viability through increased water supply to serviced areas as well as new connections to unserviced areas.
He said his ministry would continue to guide water utilities country wide to enable them improve water supply with the view to achieving universal access to clean water.
China Civil Engineering Construction Cooperation Zambia Limited general manager Eric Ding said during the project implementation phase, his company worked well with Zambian experts to build the quality infrastructure.
Mr. Ding said in a view of the rising water demand in Lusaka due to the increasing population, space had been reserved for construction of an additional water treatment facility to meet the future water demand.
Lusaka Province Minister Sheal Mulyata appealed to local communities to guard the water infrastructure against vandalism.