FIRST lady Esther Lungu has expressed concerned over women and girls
in rural areas who are affected by inadequate access to safe and clean
water in the country.
She was speaking on Tuesday when she commissioned five boreholes that
were sunk with support from the Bible Gospel Church in Africa (BIGOGA)
in chief Nadke’s area in Nyimba district.
The First Lady said although water was a necessity to life it was usually fetched
by women and girls who spend long hours to access it.
“This takes away hours spent on productive economic work for women.
For the girls, it is loss of school hours and the burden of work that
is worrying. I hope these will be issues of the past with the
provision of the boreholes,” She said.
She commended the church for supplementing Government in the provision
of water access points.
“This is in line with the Esther Lungu Foundation Trust which is
improving access to water and sanitation it intends to help women and
girls access water with ease in order to improve their lives,” she
The first lady expressed happiness with the partnerships that have
been created with BIGOCA and observed that the church also donated
tents for use by rural churches in places of worship.
Ms Lungu observed that the church has not left things to Government
alone to address the needs of the people as faith based organizations,
Non-governmental Organizations (NGOs) and communities respond to the
call of making the world a better place to live in.
She commended government for declaring the country a Christian nation
saying every citizen enjoys the freedom of worship which she said is a
sign that government has a high regard for the church and its members.
And Mrs Lungu advised villagers in the area to enhance the fight
against early marriages and by taking their girl children to school.
Meanwhile, Bishop Kondwelani Sakala of BIGOCA said his church remained
committed to partner with progressive and well meaning organizations
and bodies in helping uplift the living standards of the people.
Bishop Sakala said the church partnered with the Esther Lungu
Foundation Trust to sink boreholes in Chipata and Nyimba districts
saying three were sunk in Chipata while five were sunk in chief
Earlier when she paid a courtesy call on chief Ndake, the first lady
urged the traditional leader to ensure that the facilities were put to
good use and help guard against vandalism.
And Eastern Province Minister Makebi Zulu said only 34 percent of the
population of the region have access to safe and clean water.
Mr Zulu commended the first lady for her efforts in helping improve
access to water among rural communities.
He observed that people shared water drinking points with animals in
some areas and noted that it was the intention of government to
improve access and put an end to such concerns.
Meanwhile, Chief Ndake said because of the increase in population, access
to safe, and clean water was a challenge in the area.
He explained that according to census which was carried out in 2014,
his chiefdom only had 332 boreholes to cater for a total population of
17,868 saying each borehole used to service 600 people.
Chief Ndake disclosed that a number of boreholes have since been sunk
by the council, central government,and world vision and that currently
about 300 people were sharing a borehole.
He stated that with support from the Esther Lungu foundation trust,
access to safe and clean would further improve.