Wednesday, 28th February will be remembered by the residents of Maamba for one of the heaviest recorded rainfall in a day in the recent times. On this night, Sinazongwe District recorded over 110 mm of rainfall within four hours.
This unprecedented deluge caused large scale flash flooding in the District and in Maamba, the home of Zambia’s 300 MW thermal power plant, Maamba Collieries Limited. In its wake, the flash floods damaged and washed away portions of the water supply lines from Lake Kariba to the Southern Water and Sewerage Company Limited (SWASCO) water treatment plant, sewage lines of the township, and parts of the SWASCO pipeline from the plant to the town, leaving the residents of Maamba without access to drinking water or water for the households.
Even as the rains started easing and water levels started receding, Maamba Collieries Ltd. (MCL) engineers swung in to action to render aid to the Maamba Community. Quickly assessing the damage and working in wet weather, MCL’s team decided to restore the pipelines with its own infrastructure.
MCL Mine Manager Engineer Scott Phiri said: “MCL is working on laying a High-Density Polyethylene pipe to the town as a temporary measure to restore water supply to the residents of Maamba”.
The management of MCL also decided to supply the highly purified water used in the thermal power plant by its water tankers to tide over the drinking water crisis in the residential areas.
MCL staff and Management are collaborating and working with officials from SWASCO and the local officials to restore water to SWASCO’s water treatment plant from Lake Kariba.
The process to fully install the High-Density Polyethylene pipes was completed by Saturday evening. MCL is also assisting SWASCO in transporting pipes from outside the district to Maamba to replace washed away sewage pipes.
MCL is Zambia’s largest Coal Mine and operates Zambia’s only coal-fired 300 MW Thermal Power Plant at Maamba in Sinazongwe District.