Community Development and Social Services Minister, Catherine Namugala today launched the first ever Eco-Village model project in Zambia, an initiative of the Network for Environmental Concerns and Solutions (NECOS).
The initiative aims at transforming Madiba compound of Matero, from a peri-urban settlement into an Eco-Village Model.
Speaking at the launch at Diana Kaimba Basic School in Lusaka, Ms Namugala said every nation aspires to have socio-economic development saying Zambians should strive to pursue developmental activities that will have minimum negative impact on the environment.
She said studies and experiences have shown that where the community improves its water and sanitation, the quality of health also improves.
Ms Namugala said the upgrading of informal settlements in peri-urban areas will play an important role in improving living standards for the residents.
She further said sustainable development can only be guaranteed when community involvement is encouraged and supported by all.
Speaking at the same function, Finish Ambassador to Zambia Sinikka Antila said the project was founded by Finish Non Governmental Organizations (NGO) and other NGOs from other co-operating partners.
She said Finland and Zambia have been collaborating in areas like environment, health and private sector development.
Ms Antila said Finland will to continue increase its aid to the Zambian government in order to improve the living standards for its citizens.
And NECOS President Obed Kawanga said NECOS is a community based non governmental organization which was founded in 2004 to address community problems of Madiba compound like the cholera outbreak which claimed many lives.
He said environmental and social-economic concerns should be handled together with all concerned residents and stakeholders.
Meanwhile the Global Dry Toilet Association Project says sanitation is a big problem that kills about 1.5 million children every year globally.
Project Coordinator,Sari Huuhtanen said most children die from simple diarrhoea diseases, a problem which she said can easily be prevented with proper toilets and hygiene.