The Kwilimuna Youth Resource Centre in Mpongwe District on the Copperbelt Province is struggling to operate without water after its only borehole was struck by lightning, cutting the entire commodity supply system.

The development came to light after Youth, Sports and Child Development Minister Emmanuel Mulenga toured the Youth Resource Centre.

Centre manager Patrick Mulenga explained what happened to the minister.

“Minister, we have a serious challenge of water here. The only borehole we had was struck by lightning, destroying the entire system. So, there is no water at the centre and this poses a serious risk to the youths here,” Patrick said.

He said despite having some challenges, the centre had trained over 600 young people in different skills.

“We have trained over 600 young people especially in big farms here in Mpongwe. The young people are now dotted across the country. This institution is registered a d we are benefiting a lot from TEVETA. Driving, forming and designing are the new courses that will be introduced next year. This centre is so big, but we only have three staff. All the three do not belong to the ministry of youth but from education. Now with the head counter going on, we can be removed from the pay role which is our concern,” said Patrick.

And Mulenga assured the centre manager that the facility would have water supply within 14 days.

“We use the Zambia National Service equipment that we help the youths through different skills. This infrastructure which has stalled will be worked on. On the borehole that was affected by lightning, we can do that within 14 days. This centre should have water within 14 days. We can’t keep the young ones without water, it’s a recipe for diseases. Youths should have the maximum benefits from this centre. It is good that we have come to see what goes on here. Levels of unemployment should be reduced that is the directive that was given to me. The President has called for a paradigm shift of not job-seeking but creating skills for the youths for self-employment. Government has a policy of completing infrastructure which is above 80%. So I will engage the Ministry of Finance,” said Mulenga.

“The President has directed the Ministry of Education to be buying desks from such institutions and this we will make sure it is done. We have ZAFFICO here we can maximise this and create desks which we can sell to the ministry of education. So we directing that if you don’t have carpentry here, make sure that you have it next year and start working on making desks. Let us not depend fully on government, but let us develop our own ways of generating resources.” s