The Lusaka Water and Sewerage Company (LWSC) says about 7,000 households in George, Kanyama and Chawama townships are going to benefit from the onsite sanitation upgrading project under the LSP programme, which is being funded by the World Bank and the African Development Bank (AfDB).
The LSP, which started in 2015, aims to ultimately impact 500,000 Lusaka residents’ lives by the time it’s finally completed in 2021 through improved sanitation facilities and underground water.
Speaking during a media training workshop in Chisamba, Tuesday, LWSC Onsite Sanitation specialist Eng Mwansa Nachula explained how the Lusaka Sanitation Programme would improve poor sanitation facilities and provide new ones to prevent water-borne diseases, such as cholera, dysentery, typhoid and diarrhoea.
“We are trying to go beyond the current services we offer as Lusaka Water [and Sewerage Company]; we are doing one very important thing, which is underground water protection. I think we are all aware what happened towards the end of 2017, through to early 2018, where we had a cholera outbreak in Lusaka. One reason that contributed to that outbreak was faecal oral contamination. That’s why we thought that we should pay attention to what is really happening on the ground,” Eng Nachula said.
“We have a very interesting map of ground water in Lusaka city; we call it the ground water vulnerability map. So, the map shows how vulnerable the water we have in Lusaka really is. If you look at the map, you can see how pit latrines in Lusaka are actually occupying more space than water points and in areas where we have more pit latrines than water points, there are a lot of shallow wells and these shallow wells are dug just very close to the pit latrines themselves! So, we are helping residents in the peri-urban areas of Lusaka, those that don’t have ground water or septic tanks because even though we provide water at kiosks, but some people still draw water from shallow wells, which is usually contaminated because of the many unimproved sanitation facilities that they have.”
And Eng Nachula said 7,000 households in Lusaka’s George, Kanyama and Chawama townships were going to benefit from the onsite sanitation upgrading project under the LSP programme, which is being funded by the World Bank and the AfDB.
“The Lusaka Sanitation Programme is meant to ultimately benefit 500,000 lives of residents in Lusaka when it’s finally completed. This is a five year programme running from 2015 to 2020. But because of the various funders that we have, part of it will be completed in 2021. So, through this programme, we are targeting improved sanitation facilities and underground water. Of the 7,000 households that are meant to benefit, we have so far constructed 96 toilets in George Compound out of the 2,000 allocated to it under the African Development Bank (AfDB) fund. Construction of these facilities is being done by locally-trained, community-based enterprises from the area. It is expected that 20,000 people will have access to the improved onsite sanitation facilities,” said Eng Nachula.
“And in Kanyama and Chawama compounds, under the World Bank funds, construction of 5,000 toilets shall start in June this year and three contractors are yet to be engaged. It is also expected that over 20,000 people will have access to the improved onsite sanitation facilities. We carefully selected these areas, which are heavily affected by water-borne diseases and fully lined substructures that prevent leakage ground water are being constructed. These structures include: seat or squat toilets, super structure with customers’ choice of brick or block; render and paint, door and door latch, among others. Households also have a choice to add their own extras.”
It was also revealed during the workshop that LWSC has plans to map every area in Lusaka for ground water protection and on-site sanitation.