Ministry of Water Development and Sanitation Permanent Secretary Joe Kalusa has been told that an inadequate supply of clean water in Mufulira on the Copperbelt has contributed to the rising cases of diarrhea in the district.
During Mr. Kalusa’s tour of the Copperbelt, Mufulira acting District Commissioner Kambole Mphande revealed that the border town is recording between 160 to 180 cases of diarrhea diseases per week as a result of inadequate supply of clean water and Sanitation.
Dr. Mphande said that the problem of lacking proper supply of clean and safe water is widespread in parts of Mufulira.
He said many residential areas in Mufulira do not have adequate water supply and sanitation services from Mulonga Water and Sanitation Company.
Dr. Mphande said there is increased reliance on shallow water wells in areas such as Kawama, whose wells are highly suspected of being contaminated as most residents use pit-latrines.
Mr. Mphande was speaking when the Ministry of Water Development Permanent Secretary called on him at his office in Mufulira on Friday.
Mr. Kalusa said the situation in Mufulira is dire and Mulonga Water Supply and Sanitation Company needs to move in very quickly to address the situation that has led to increased diarrhea diseases.
Mr. Kalusa said he is aware that the water supply challenges and poor sanitation service provision in Mufulira is gloomy, but that measures are being put in place to address the situation.
He said Mulonga Water must therefore expedite components of the Zambia Water and Sanitation projects, whose works are expected to address the problems of inadequate water supply.
“We have received that picture of inadequate water supply in Mufulira. This is why we say water is life. Where we have proper water supply and sanitation services we record fewer numbers of diarrhea cases. But looking at the scenario you have given us of diarrhea cases it means we have a problem and for that reason we must move in quickly,” he said.
“I am aware that we have a lot of shallow wells and we have some rivers with dirty water and our people are so desperate for clean water that sometimes they don’t even care because they need this water that is scarce. We have come to see what we can do, I am sure we have some water projects which are also going on here. We just have to strive to ensure that we improve on the water supply and sanitation services that have gone down,” Mr. Kalusa said.
Mr Kalusa also heard that Mufulira District has a high rate of non-revenue water statistics because of the dilapidated water supply and sanitation networks.
He was told this by Mufulira Mayor Tanaeli Kamanga when he called at the civic centre in Mufulira district on Friday.
Mr Kamanga has said there is a need for investment and innovations into service provision for water supply and sanitation by Mulonga Water.