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Alba Iulia
Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Attainment of good water supply and sanitation still a big challenge-Levy

Headlines Attainment of good water supply and sanitation still a big challenge-Levy

Most African countries are finding difficulties to score remarkable achievements towards attaining the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) on water and sanitation by 2015 because of the ever increasing urban populations.

In a speech read for him by Finance and National Planning Minister, Ng’andu Magande at the ongoing African Union summit in Egypt, President Mwanawasa said internal and external conflicts Africa has been experiencing were also making it difficult for the continent to achieve the MDGs.

Dr Mwanawasa said it was easy to focus on water and sanitation in peaceful environments, and very difficult to do so in conflict areas.

He said conflicts on the continent were resulting in displacement of people thereby making it difficult for them to access basic social facilities such as water and sanitation.

Dr. Mwanawasa said that some countries in Africa have performed better while others still lag behind in meeting their developmental goals.

He said Africa could not claim to have registered economic growth if the majority of its people lacked access to water and sanitation services.

The President said sanitation was key to sustainable social and economic development as lack of it could cause misery through disease and ill-health thereby reducing productivity.

Although there have been pronouncements at national, regional and continental level on how to tackle sanitary issues, there has been no meaningful and visible progress in addressing the problem.

In the case of Zambia, Dr. Mwanawasa observed that proper development of sanitation and water supply infrastructure was being hampered by unplanned urban settlements which were attracting scores of the rural poor.

This made it difficult and costly for local authorities to provide adequate water and sanitation services to the communities.

Dr. Mwanawasa said well planned urban and peri-urban settlements would provide solutions to sanitation and water supply problems the continent was currently experiencing.

"In this regard, I call upon the African Union to support capacity building in the area of urban planning and development," President Mwanawasa said.

Dr. Mwanawasa said with a population of 11.6 million, four million of whom live in urban areas, the sanitation problem in Zambia was still a major challenge.

In 2004, the country's national coverage for water supply stood at 53 percent while sanitation stood at 23 percent.

The president said the country has since embarked on the development of integrated national programmes to improve water supply, sanitation and hygiene in rural, urban and peri-urban areas and set targets of 60 percent for sanitation and 75 percent for water to be achieved by 2015.

He said the programmes would continue to be implemented until the country attained "universal coverage" by the year 2030".

Dr. Mwanawasa said through these programmes, the country intended to alleviate the suffering of the people and contribute to poverty reduction.

The 11th Ordinary session of the AU Heads of State and Government summit opened yesterday in the Egyptian resort city of Sharm El Sheikh.

The summit is scheduled to officially close today.



  1. Sound message Mr Minister Magande. Water supply and sanitation issues are very cardinal to society and so please make sure to implement what you have suggested for our own good.

  2. Let’s face it fellow African ordinary folk, our continent will never reach the position were necessities like sanitation, water and electricity are a norm in all of it’s corners. The precedent set by Zim and Mugabe, were a detrimental leader is let to be, does not help matters. Why should LPM or the leader of Cameroon leave their offices if one of the fathers of Africa is let to rule even when he’s a menace to development and his own people? AU, along with the whole concept of Africa achieving any meaningful development, are jokes!

  3. How many civil engineers are being produced by the MMD at UNZA specializing in the following professions: 1. water engineering, highway engineering, industrial engineering, chemical engineering, etc?

    This GRZ just talks and talks endlessly while the masses are wallowing in dirt at all levels. Look at our towns.. filthy and yet councils are there and a supervising grz is there with a woman dressed as if she is off to a movie casting! Shame of this lame grz.

  4. Good analysis, Mr. President. A clearly defined problem is half the solution already. The responsibilty is not only governmental, we all need to put our shoulders to the wheel instead of grudging. Mwa umfwa # 2 & 3?

  5. The fact that in the 21st century as Africa in general, and after 44 years of self determination in Zambia particularly, we are still giving such embarrassing figures of (under)developement is actually scandalous if not criminal. As #3 puts it, manpower, skill and resources we have but shamefully we are at the level of development as our ancestors, save for Manda hill and Arcades which some Zambians, including leaders,foolishly think is developement. People live stone-throw distances from abundant water, rivers, lakes but their houses lack running water. Can someone please help explain this…pit latrines are the order of the day….Independence for what??

  6. The problem is also largely due to policy implementors. the attitude of most GRZ employees is very annoying. They concentrate more on filling up seats instead of using their brains and being practical! Zambia could surely be better if only the lazy ones would be shown the way out

  7. It is clear to me that there are many citizens in Zambia who are really good at praising leaders even though these leaders deserve to be dismissed for abusing their offices and defrauding Zambian people. Why is it that there is no sustained GRZ effort to ensure that Zambia develops more than enough capacity to manage our many water bodies – our lakes?

    I was shocked to read how well organized Zimbabweans are on the issue of managing their water bodies although they are not numerous like ours.

  8. They are no or few educated engineers in the urban areas that is why this will be very difficult and costly for local authorities to provide adequate water and sanitation services to the communities.They like employing relatives who cannot deliver, why can’t the high authority scrutinize all areas?

  9. Individuals in society with means and vision have to act. You cannot rely on politicians to make drastic changes to our economy. Instead of pointing the blame at someone else all the time, you do something about it. If everybody did their part, these problems would be small or non-existent. I hear there are some people who are illegally allocating land a few metres from the railway line. Some are even buiding houses right on top of water mains pipes. People are turning a blind eye to such things and only casually talking about it. This is not the way to do things. Lets me it our business to make sure that there is progress and development in our country.

  10. Water and sanitation is cardinal to our country’s health.Its all well said by the minister but we need to see it happening.The supply of water in most if not all zambian districts is erratic.This can not go on forever.We need good drainage systems as well.Stagnant water after rains makes breeding platform for mosquitoes hence malaria.Please go on and implement this program for the benefit of all zambians

  11. Mirriam, we civil servants do not take kindly to your arrogant attitude. Do you expect us to walk on foot to all parts of Zambia to implement policies or to use our salaries for that cause? You do not understand how bearaucratic Govt is, thats why you can insult us as you do. What part have you played as an individual to better the lives of your community members???? Think b4 you make some comments. Implementation of policies need resources and we implimentors are not warrant holds.

  12. Kale ba mwisa bale twikata ubulofwa, nga bakwikata ba kutwala mu chifungo, ala lelo mayendele muno Zambia. Who said that, do you remember? I was a young man by then when ifi pekeni was a thing of the day in the compounds or townships. I did not understand why ba mwisa behaved that way but now that I have some education and exposure to how things are done in other countries, I have understanding of why the colonial masters restricted our movements. The bottom line is that based upon their urban development plans, they could not sustain the good living conditions of people in the urban centers if they were to be laxed on migrations from rural areas or other urban areas.

  13. I have a feeling that at some point the UNIP government realized that it was becoming problematic to control the influx of people to the urban areas. Their way of arresting the situation was to establish economic production Industries such as Mansa Batteries, Pineapple Factory in Solwezi, Maamba Collery, and so on including the “Go Back To The Land” persuation program. Who is to blame for the failure? The answer is us including you who is reading this if you are Zambian. Like #3 and #9 have said, we do have Engineers who can look into all this stuff and come up with solutions.

  14. Also I do believe we have individuals that are working on urban development programs but their ideas just end up on the drawing board. If indeed we care, we should pertition the councils to hold quarterly meetings at which the Urban Development Department would bring to the public attention progression of projects being worked on such as the ones cited having to do with clean water distribution, sanitation, housing and others. This way people can ask questions and forward suggestions on the way forward of our development. Before I keyboard off, let’s remember…Kanjuchi ka lombo ko chepa, koma njuchi ilibe ulesi…Disunited we fail or fall.

  15. 12. Do not be so defensive – if you are doing your part then well done and trust me, you are one of the few. For most of those GRZ employees that still want to cry foul that there is too much beaurocracy, push and become a go getter so that even as you perform your duty you know you have done it to the best of your ability and not just sit and wait for a miracle to correct some elements along the system.

  16. I like your zeal #10, however I find it lacking practicality. You should know, at least by now, that nothing gets done in this country, however well intentioned, without political will or drive/thrust..whatever you want to call it. Yes Individual developement can happen, but in your backyard…and how people have resources to sink boreholes or develop systems drawing water from nearby water bodies….Look, you and I pay taxes every time we breathe in & out and it is not much to ask if we demanded decent services like running water & other sanitation services befitting decent human beings living in 21st Century Zambia…the buck stops with our politicians, thats why they in Govt

  17. I agree with #3. If the government itself does not know how many CIVIL ENGINEERS are graduating from UNZA and CBU, how can we improve water supply and sanitation services to our people?

    I hope our GRZ is not waiting for foreigners to bring financial and human(civil engineers) resources to come and implement the so called policies. GRZ must start recruiting the right professionals now if we really need to provide good water and sanitation to all. For example, cholera is not a problem of the medics but engineers because it is brought about by poor sanitation (uncollected decomposed solid waste, poor sewerage facilities, poor drainage).

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