Copperbelt Permanent Secretary Augustine Kasongo says poor water supply, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) are the main causes of infections such as cholera and diarrhoea.
Mr. Kasongo says that the said infections have continued to be the leading cause of death in children under the age of five in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Speaking at the official opening of the planning and review meeting on the implementation of WASH activities in the province, Mr. Kasongo said access to clean, safe water and sanitation services by all segments of the population is key component to sustainable development.
“ There is need to enhance access to clean water and sanitation for people living in rural and peri-urban areas in order to promote hygiene in communities, “ he said.
In 2015, about 40 percent of households in Zambia had access to improved sources of water and sanitation and that 27 percent of people in urban areas and 85 percent in rural areas had no access to improved sources of sanitation.
However, the Permanent Secretary observed that said the proportion of households accessing improved sources of drinking water increased from 63 percent in 2010 to 67.7 percent in 2015.
Mr. Kasongo aid in 2015 households in urban areas had more access to improved sources of drinking water at 89.2 percent compared to households in rural areas.
I think the concept of water utilities has failed. Since the inception LWSC in 1988 and others later on the situation hasn’t improved and in some cases it has worsened. The only thing that has improved is the burden of management overheads. Instead of being a mere department with a director at a council, these have several directors with huge salaries and allowances. The dilemma of being run as a business and the responsibility of supplying water to low cost high density areas that are prone to diseases hasn’t sat well. This is the reason we must revisit this concept. I think it’s better to return this to local authorities so that they’re properly answerable
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