Lukanga Water and Sewerage Company Limited (LgWSC) has embarked on a Sanitation Maintenance Program to replace all stolen iron cast manhole covers in Central Province.Phase one of its replacement project involves the procurement of over 600 plastic manhole covers to cater for Kabwe’s most vulnerable areas such as Katondo, Chowa, Railways,Natuseko and Shamabanse.
With cases of iron cast manhole covers being stolen for scrap metal by unscrupulous residents in townships and making the sewer system much more susceptible to solid objects; LgWSC seeks a long-lasting solution to protect its sewer system.
“We have started and we are in phase one of the project. We have so far procured over 500 plastic manhole covers each worth K500, which gives us a cumulative total of K 250,000.However, that is not the end and we intend to spend more money as we roll out this project to other towns”
LgWSC has continued to appeal to customers to settle all their outstanding arrears so as to help it sustain its projects.
This project is important for the commercial utility as it is aimed and securing the sewer system from solid materials which gets swept into it by stormy water especially during rainy season.
The utility intends to to roll out the project to other parts of Central Province before the onset on the next rainy season to as to minimize the recurrence of sewer floods.
“We have been researching and we have done our homework. In Peri-urban areas the utility often experiences frequent complaints due to sewer blockages necessitated by exposed manholes whose covers have either been stolen for scrap metal or vandalized”
Exposed manholes and consequently sewer over flows puts communities at risk of contracting water borne diseases such as cholera and diarrhoea and we want to mitigate such occurrences.LgWSC is also embarking on community sensitization campaigns aimed at making communities appreciate the importance of having tightly covered manholes.
“We also want to urge our customers to be on high alert against vandals and thwart the theft of manhole covers because we all have a collective responsibility of safeguarding public facilities in our communities. It is our hope that communities will embrace the idea of neighbourhood Watch Groups to tighten security”
“Tempering with any water and sanitation facility is a punishable offence under the Water Supply and Sanitation Act number 28 of 1997.LgWSC wants to collaborate more with the Police and Neighbourhood Watch groups across communities to ensure that people who abrogate the law are answerable ad punished”
During the just ended rainy season, some communities in Kabwe made headlines over sewer floods, most of which are associated with poor drainage system and frequent blockages due to vandalized or stolen manhole covers.
Besides embarking on a Manhole Covers Replacement Project, LgWSC has come up with a budget of over K2.5 Million for various maintenance costs across Central Province line with its 2017-2020 Strategic Plan.