Thursday, May 30, 2024

PS concerned with poor quality of water in Mpika district


Ministry of Water Development and Sanitation Permanent Secretary Joe Kalusa has expressed concern over the poor water quality being produced at Malashi Water Treatment Plant in Mpika district in Muchinga Province.

Mr Kalusa says the quality of water being produced is due to lack of a segmentation tank at the plant and is not safe for human consumption.

The Permanent Secretary expressed his displeasure when he visited the Malashi Water treatment plant yesterday and lamented that reports by residents complaining over unsafe drinking water raises great concern to Government.

He said the process of water filtration before it reaches the consumers should be normalised in order to supply safe drinking water to the people.

“We already know that the segmentation tank is the first level of treatment before we go to the filters, but I am wondering why that stage was skipped,” he said.

Mr Kalusa has further directed Engineers in charge of the project to come up with modifications in order to supply the people with proper treated water.

And Consultant Site Engineer in-charge of the project under rehabilitation and construction, Abishai Chilomo said the technical team have taken note of the concern, stating that they will soon begin coming up with modalities of the modification process.

Mr Chilomo said the poor water that people are accessing is attributed to traces of leakages from some pipes especially in the rainy season.

“We have also noted with great concern over the elements poor water quality, and I wish to assure you that we are going to work on improving it,” he said.

Mr Chilomo further mentioned that the Malashi Water project being constructed by China State Engineering Corporation has reached 85 per cent completion, stressing that it is expected to be completed and operational by April next year.

Meanwhile, Chief Chikwanda of the Bemba People of Mpika district has appealed to the Ministry of Water Development and Sanitation to include his Chiefdom in the Water and Sanitation schemes that government is embarking on.

Chief Chikwanda said the people in his Chiefdom have not benefitted from any water project, saying Government should consider bringing such water utility projects to the area.

The traditional leader who was speaking when the Permanent Secretary paid a courtesy call on him at his palace, also commended government for decentralization of water projects that will be benefitted from the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) allocation starting next year.

And Government is set to allocate about Five (5) million Kwacha towards Water and Sanitation projects from the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) starting next year.

Ministry of Water Development Sanitation Permanent Secretary Joe Kalusa, said, water and sanitation projects beginning the year 2023, will benefit about 20 per cent from the CDF in a bid to improve access to water supply in the country.

Speaking when he paid a courtesy call on Mpika District Commissioner David Siame at his office yesterday, Mr Kalusa stated that the allocation of the funds will ensure that all constituencies have full access to safe and clean water.

He said Mpika district is one of the beneficiaries of water projects in Muchinga province that will supplement the other water utility projects encompassed in the CDF allocation.

Mr Kalusa stressed that the decentralization of water and sanitation projects in the surrounding communities, is in line with government’s agenda of actualising the devolution process in all sectors.

“We have to take the water facilities in the outskirts of our district which will be done through CDF,” he added.

The Permanent Secretary further assured the people of Mpika of frequent water supply by the end of 2023 after all the water projects in the district are complete and operational.

He also stated that the Ministry of Water Development and Sanitation will begin constructing about 16 dams around the country next year to increase on the number of water reservoirs.

And Mr Kalusa expressed delight at the level of progress at Lwitikila Low Water extraction point under construction.

He said the project is progressing satisfactorily, saying it is expected to be commissioned by March next year.

Meanwhile, Mpika District Commissioner David Siame, said the demand for water supply in the district is growing due to the increase in population in the area.

Mr Siame added that the operationalisation of the various water projects will go a long way towards frequent supply of safe and clean water in the district.

The District Commissioner stated that development of water and sanitation infrastructure projects has been received well by the people of Mpika district.

He said residents have also been sensitized on land encroachment that has sewer lines and other projects.

“We have implored our people to respect government projects that are aimed at improving water and sanitation for their own benefit,” he added.

The Water Development and Sanitation Permanent Secretary is in Muchinga Province to check on the various water projects under construction and rehabilitation in Mpika, Chinsali, Isoka and Nakonde districts.


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