SNV, a Netherlands Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) in collaboration with Lukanga Water and Sewerage Company Limited (LgWSC) is implementing a five year Dutch Government funded Urban Sanitation and Hygiene for Health and Development (USHHD) Project in Kabwe.
The € 4 Million SNV sponsored project is aimed at addressing challenges of sanitation across the targeted towns and anticipating to reach 210,000 beneficiaries who should have access to sanitation, and 260,000 beneficiaries that could benefit from hygiene services across the five targeted towns in Zambia.
The 5 Town project was embarked on after discussions with the Ministry of Water Development Sanitation and Environmental Protection which identified towns with low sanitation coverage as priority areas. The towns to benefit from this project include Mbala,Mpulungu,Kasama and Nakonde.
Speaking in Kabwe, SNV Project Manager Kumbulani Ndlovu said his organisation is set to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with LgWSC and Kabwe Municipal Council on the sanitation and hygiene project, aimed at raising the profile of on-site sanitation.
“At present the USHHD and LgWSC is undertaking a baseline which will be used to assess progress on an annual basis as well as help define priority activities for implementation” Mr.Ndlovu said.
He explained that SNV noted with concern that no major attention was being given to on-site sanitation of which most (i.e 80%) of the residents in planned and unplanned settlements tend to use. He added that On-site sanitation ranges from septic tanks to pit latrines and these have not been given adequate attention.
And LgWSC Managing Director, Mushany Ngafise Kapusana revealed that SNV has come to assist at a time when they are needed the most, adding that Central Province’s Sanitation Coverage stands at 39% against the population of over 1.4 million people of which most of them are peri-urban dwellers.
“We are happy that SNV extended this Project to Kabwe and we look forward to see many cooperating partners out their emulate SNV’s gesture so that we collectively see how best we can bridge the sanitation gap and attain SDG number 6” he said.
The project will help LgWSC to improve its sanitation coverage and improve its services. Using internal funds, the Commercial Utility in Central Province has been implementing sanitation projects in Kapiri-Mposhi and Chisamba so as to assist to raise the sanitation profile.
With the help of other cooperating partners, Lukanga Water and Sewerage Company Limited remain optimistic that so much will be accomplished in terms of improving sanitation services.
“Currently, LgWSC is piloting Eazi-flush toilets in selected peri-urban areas within Kabwe with the aim of improving sanitation among the poor communities, and we appreciate the fact that SNV has come on board to help us do more on sanitation” Mr. Kapusana said.
Even though the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) number 6 underscores the need to attain universal access to Clean Water and Sanitation by 2030, the National Urban Sanitation coverage in Zambia currently stands at 62.6 with many commercial utilities still making frantic efforts to attain acceptable benchmarks in terms of service provision.