Maamba residents have welcomed government’s decision to terminate Maamba Collieries license for water supply to Maamba Township
Speaking through their Councilor Peter Siavuulwe the residents said Maamba Coal mine have for a long time been subjecting them to drinking filthy water.
On Sunday Local Government and Housing Minister Minister Sylvia Masebo terminated Maamba Collieries’ license for supplying water to Maamba Township and tasked Southern Water and Sewerage Company (SWSC) to take over the operations.
Ms Masebo said the Mine has failed to run the water supply system competently.
Mr. Siavuulwe said SWSC would for the first time enable people to have access to clean drinking water.
He however pointed out that SWSC ny should maintain the agreement that Maamba Collieries had with the surrounding villages to supply free drinking water after their streams they depended on were polluted.
The Maamba ward councilors named the villages as Sikalonzo, Mwela, Siachona, Siazanga, and Chamana/Sinakasikili villages who live along kanzize stream that was polluted.
“People were drinking clean water in the stream that God provided them but the mine polluted it and the initiative to have SWSC is welcome but they should also keep the promise of supplying free water to the villages,” Mr Siavuulwe said.
A check at the villages by ZANIS from Council area in Maamba to Sinakasikili discovered that Maamba Colliries had been supplying untreated water to the villages.
The people were drinking water pumped directly from Lake kariba without passing through any purification process.
Sinazongwe District Constituency Chairperson Simon Chali said Maamba people would have a chance to be drinking clean water.
Mr. Chali reaffirmed the need for SWSC to ensure that the social responsibility the mine had to supply water to the villages was maintained.
Local Government and Housing Minister Sylvia Masebo announced this at a Press briefing in Lusaka yesterday.
She said that the licence had been cancelled after inspections, which showed that the water supplied to Maamba township was not treated.
Ms Masebo said consumers had raised several complaints.
The decision to revoke the licence was aimed at ensuring that people got water that was not hazardous to their lives.
The minister said that the Government had delegated the National Water Supply and Sanitation Council (NWASCO) to monitor the quality of service operation, control pricing and ensure that there was quality water and sanitation services.