The Germany government through the KfW Development Bank in collaboration with UNICEF Zambia has secured K157 million to support the Zambian Government through the National Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Programme to implement a Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene Programme in six districts of Luapula Province.
The benefitting Districts include Chiengi, Chifunabuli, Kawambwa, Lunga, Mwansabombwe and Mwense.
The programme will be implemented through the Ministry of Water Development, Sanitation and Environmental Protection with support to the target districts and provincial authorities, working in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of General Education.
The programme entitled ‘Enhancing Access to WASH Services in Luapula Province will be implemented over a period of three years (2020-2022) in the target six districts and is expected to benefit an estimated 200,000 people.
Minister of Water Development Sanitation and Environmental Protection Dr Dennis Wanchinga said the ultimate goal of the programme is to reduce the burden of diarrhoeal diseases among children, especially those under 5.
Dr Wanchinga said under the programme, at least 450 existing non-functional boreholes will be rehabilitated, and 340 new boreholes will be drilled and equipped with hand pumps, and ten piped water supply stems will be constructed or upgraded.
He said the programme will also support sanitation and hygiene promotion, and capacity building for communities, districts, and provincial and national staff in planning, programme implementation, the operation and maintenance of WASH infrastructure, and monitoring and evaluation.
Dr Wanchinga said the programme will also see the rehabilitation and upgrading of water and sanitation infrastructure in 50 schools and 20 health centres and also support health care waste management systems in health care facilities.
And Germany Ambassador to Zambia Achim Burkart said with a view to following a comprehensive approach that programme has interlinkages to another project in the water sector as well as to food and nutrition security.
Ambassador Bukart said integrated solutions are important guiding principles for Germany´s Development Cooperation to maximize impacts.
Meanwhile, Noala Skinner, the UNICEF Country Representative said access to basic water and sanitation is such an essential part of children getting the best start in life.
She said without these, the lives of tens of thousands of children in Zambia are at risk.
Ms Skinner said for children under five, water- and sanitation-related diseases are one of the leading causes of death.