Concerns mount over general hygiene conditions, as NGOs raise the alarm over 60-day water shut down


A Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO), Wash Forum, is worried about how markets, bus stations, businesses, and schools, which required consistent water supply would operate during the announced 60-day water shut down.

This followed an announcement by the Water Development and Sanitation Minister, Mike Mposha, last week regarding the planned 60-day shut down of Lolanda 1 Lusaka Water and Sanitation Company (LWSC).

The NGO Wash Forum, consisting of 42 NGO Organisations in the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Sector in Zambia is seeking clarity from LWSC on the measures to ensure reliable and affordable water supply delivery through water bowsers to specific city areas.

NGO Wash Forum Coordinator, Bubala Muyovwe, said this in a statement issued on Wednesday.

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“It is imperative to consider the allocation of additional resources and manpower to expedite the project. Prolonged service disruptions, especially during the dry season, can impose severe hardships on residents who depend on a continuous supply of clean water for domestic purposes.

“This situation poses significant public health risks since dry conditions historically contribute to the spread of diarrheal diseases due to the absence of clean water for hygiene and food safety practices,” Muyovwe said.

She indicated that more detailed insights were needed regarding the practical implementation of the prioritisation and how other essential services would cope with reduced or intermittent water supply.

This is despite the ministerial statement saying that critical facilities such as hospitals would receive continuous water supply priority.

“The ministerial statement and the press briefing made by the Lusaka Water Supply and Sanitation Company Managing Director, lacks clarity on how institutions like markets, bus stations, businesses, and schools, which require a consistent water supply, will be affected,” she said.

Following the raised concerns, Muyovwe recommended that Government considered involving external assistance in the repair of the damaged pipeline to ensure works were done according to the planned period.

She noted that given that in-house engineers from the Ministry of Water Development and Sanitation, in collaboration with LWSC, estimated a 60-day completion period, it was essential to engage partners who could significantly reduce this turnaround time.

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