World Vision, through the Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) project, has drilled its first borehole in Muloongo Village, Southern Province, out of the 300 boreholes to be done this year across the country.

And National Director of World Vision John Hasse said the WASH programme, worth US$6 million, would provide clean water for up to 170,000 Zambians in around four years.

Technical programme manager Maybin Ng’ambi explained that the drill in Muloongo Village was the first out the 300 boreholes to be done this year countrywide.

“We are in Southern Province in a village called Muloongo in Pemba District where we’ve just started drilling our first borehole out of the 300 boreholes that we are going to drill this year as World Vision. We are working with government in this particular district to ensure that people are able to have access to clean and safe water,” Ng’ambi told journalists in Muloongo Village, Pemba District.

“Muloongo Village is one of the villages in Southern Province where they’ve had a lot of challenges in terms of accessing water from the time these villages were setup. They’ve been getting most of the water three to five kilometres away from their homes, and even the water they’ve been collecting, it’s been very dirty water, which one cannot even drink.”

And World Vision national director John Hasse said providing clean water had since increased literacy levels in girls, which benefited the local economy.

“In many of our programmes as we’ve been doing this, as we’ve been rolling water out in schools, we’re seeing the attendance, education and literacy rates of girls go up higher. And we know that’s improving the economy and strengthening the economy in the country. So, when we mechanise those systems, we are able to run the water out to communities a kilometre out, or even more out, from those water systems; that provides water just to someone’s home, to that community and everyone in that home has access to water at their home,” Hasse narrated.

“This year alone, we’ll provide about 170,000 people with clean water; that’s more clean water than anybody else in Zambia, besides the government. In about 4 years will provide clean water to about a million people for the first time. So, you think 16 million people in Zambia; most of that is not from institutional donors, that’s actually private donors from other countries…it’s actually stimulating the economy, it’s bringing new money into the economy outside what official foreign aid is doing. And we’ll provide about 20 clinics; we’ll put water into them for the first time.”

Meanwhile, Muloongo Village Headman Beston Simukali hailed World Vision for availing clean water to the community of 766 people and 57 children.

He said the close proximity of the borehole would solve the usual long distance challenges of fetching water, thereby, help stabilise families’ homes.

All provinces except for the Copperbelt are expected to have boreholes drilled by the end of this year.