Livingstone, the tourist capital of Zambia, is facing a major water and sanitation crisis and the local government has reached out to the Minister of Water Development and Sanitation, Hon. Mike MPOSHA, for assistance. During his inspection of water installations in Livingstone yesterday, the minister announced that he will be meeting with the Livingstone City Council councilors in the first week of February 2023 to discuss the issues and find a solution.
“When I had a chat with Livingstone City Council [councilors], they raised a number of issues. We have agreed that since I have another engagement in the first week of February, we going to have a special session where we will talking to the local government representatives [to discuss] issues of sanitation and water supply, thereafter we will go into the field to appreciate the challenges and immediately find a solution”, said MPOSHA.
The Minister also stated that the government shares the grievances and concerns raised by the Southern Water and Sanitation Company (SWASCO) regarding the dilapidated water and sanitation infrastructure in Livingstone. “What comes out very clear is that there is need for more investment…. The water treatment plant was designed for a small population of about 20,000 people, but the population of Livingstone has been growing and now we are talking of about 200,000 people….The demand for water is now 37000 cubic meters per day and SWASCO is only able to provide about 30,000 cubic meters per day…So we need more investment in the sector of around 30 million US Dollars,” he said.
Meanwhile, SWASCO management has implored the ministry to consider investing in new water infrastructure in Livingstone, as the current infrastructure dates back as far as the 1930s and 1960s. The company’s management stated, “We are fully aware that the current water and sanitation infrastructure is inadequate to meet the growing demand in the city. The population has grown significantly and the infrastructure is unable to keep up. We urge the ministry to consider investing in new infrastructure to help us meet the needs of our citizens.”
During his visit, the minister also paid a courtesy call on Her Worship The Mayor of Livingstone City, Constance Nalishebo Muleabai. During the meeting, the mayor called on all stakeholders to advocate for a change in mindset as the country manages the effects of climate change, which have adversely impacted water supply globally. She said, “Climate change is having a major impact on water supply across the globe, and it is essential that we all work together to change our mindset and adapt to the new reality.”
Hon. MPOSHA is currently on a familiarization tour in the province to inspect water installations and facilities. He said, “I am here to see the situation firsthand and understand the challenges. I believe that with the help of the local government and the private sector, we can find a solution to the water and sanitation crisis in Livingstone.”