President Edgar Lungu has directed newly appointed Minister of Water Development Raphael Nakachinda to ensure that water harvesting in the country is actualized.
President Lungu said water harvesting has not been taken seriously in the country despite continuous heavy rains and floods.
The President said Zambia can benefit a lot from water harvesting for industrial, agricultural and domestic purposes among others.
“As much as we are blessed with rain this season, we have not yet learnt, as a country, how to harness this rain for both domestic and industrial use. It is time we learnt how to harvest rain for the good of our people because we do not have rainfall throughout the year. Therefore, as the new minister in charge of water, take keen interest in rain harvesting techniques” said President Lungu.
ZANIS reports that the Head of State was speaking when he swore in Mr Nakachinda at State House in Lusaka today.
President Lungu regretted that provision of safe and clean water and sanitation services remain a challenge for many ordinary Zambians despite the Ministry of Water Development engaging and working with cooperating partners to increase access to safe drinking water and sanitation.
The President told Mr Nakachinda to ensure that his ministry improves on the development and management of water resources like the Kafulafuta Dam on the Copperbelt to alleviate water challenges.
“Your appointment comes at a critical time when Zambia is faced with Covid #19, and the heavy rains we have experienced” noted President Lungu, added “Ensure we have enough water throughout the year”.
President Lungu told Mr Nakachinda that he only has four months to hit the ground and make an impact in his ministry which plays a pivotal role in the delivery of services to Zambians.
The President noted that both rural and urban areas across the country have been hit by floods and that there is need for concerted and collaborative efforts from stakeholders and partners to ensure that the situation is put under control.
The Head of State warned the new Minister of Water Development not to entangle himself with the work of technocrats but instead concentrate on formulating policies that should benefit Zambians.
“Your ministry should come up with policies to help our people, your role is policy formulation, I therefore do not expect you to usurp the roles of technocrats because such actions will not only entangle you but the rest of government” said President Lungu.
The President tasked the new Water Development Minister to ensure that investment through Public Private Partnerships is undertaken to develop and improve water infrastructure in order to widen access to water and attain universal access to water by 2030.
And addressing the media after being sworn in, Mr Nakachinda said he will endeavor to ensure that he realizes the vision of President Lungu in the water, sanitation and environment sector.
Mr Nakachinda paid tribute to his predecessor, Dr Jonas Chanda for laying the groundwork for the implementation of sustainable water, sanitation and environmental programmes.
Mr Nakachinda, who was until recently a nominated Member of Parliament, was appointed Minister of Water Development, Sanitation and Environmental Protection, taking over from Dr Chanda who replaced sacked Minister of Health Dr Chitalu Chilufya.