Lumwana Mining Company says the provision of portable water in communities is a critical element in upholding human dignity.

And the Kalumbila District administration says the central government is collaborating with all well-meaning stakeholders towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Speaking during the commissioning of three water kiosks valued at 93,000 euros from the Finnish grant funding at Manyama Mema Trust (MMT), Barrick Lumwana Mine Sustainability Manager Christopher Mukala said the mining firm strives to provide water for people in the most remote and difficult terrains without compromising quality and quantity.

He stressed that the provision of clean, portable water was a critical element in upholding human dignity in communities.

“Provision of portable water, as enshrined in SGDs, and precisely SDG number six, is a critical element in upholding human dignity. Besides provision of water facilities, Barrick Lumwana is also promoting monthly water quality monitoring for both the onsite and offsite communities,” Mukala said.

He added that the social water enterprise project was an innovative mitigation response to alleviate human rights deprivation.

Mukala also commended the Finnish government for responding to the needs of Manyama community, adding that the people’s tremendous efforts actualised the project.

“I wish to take this opportunity to assure the people of Finland, through your embassy, that through this support, MMT has become a household name. Barrick Lumwana takes MMT as a treasured asset whose mandate we want to grow and extend beyond Manyama,” Mukala added.

The successful implementation of the project was a milestone achievement amidst challenges, and as a demonstration of local people’s high level of resilience in overcoming turbulences.

Mukala further appreciated government’s continued efforts towards creating an enabling environment for partnerships to thrive.

And Finnish Embassy Coordinator of Local Cooperation Iidah Kalmanlehto said commissioning of kiosks would enable women to fetch water without walking long distances.

“This is what is really important for Finland: improving the status of women and girls is a cross-cutting theme in all Finland’s development cooperation throughout the world,” Kalmanlehto said.

Kalumbila District Chairman Olix Kakwata said Zambia, being a signatory to the international instrumentals on the SDGs, was committed to ensuring that they were achieved.

He said provision of safe and clean drinking water kiosks commissioned was in line with SDG number six, which seeks to increase access to piped drinking water to ensure environmental sustainability.

Meanwhile, MMT board chairperson Humphrey Chisenena said clean and adequate water supply was not for the privileged only, but for all. SUMA SYSTEMS