A US$63 million project on water issues has been launched by the Ministry of Water Development, Sanitation and Environmental Protection and World Vision Zambia.
The project, which has come through the signing of a five-year memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the two institutions, aims to provide clean, safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene to 1.1 million people in 98 wards across 22 districts in the country.
Speaking during the signing ceremony, World Vision Zambia National Director John Hasse says the signing of the MOU is a significant step forward in transforming the lives of the vulnerable children, women and families in Zambia.
Mr Hasse says World Vision is focused on providing clean water and sanitation to every person in communities it operates, including the most vulnerable populations in the hardest to reach places.
He noted that clean water is essential for hand washing and disinfection to prevent the spread of diseases such as COVID-19.
Mr Hasse says World Vision Zambia is committed in bettering children’s lives through the provision of quality sustainable wash services.
He also disclosed that healthcare facilities and schools will benefit from the project as they will be provided with dignified toilets and appropriate hand washing facilities.
However, Mr Hasse bemoaned that children and parents are subjected to covering long distances to fetch water thereby depriving children time to study.
Meanwhile Minister of Water Development, Sanitation and Environmental Protection Permanent Secretary (PS) Mabvuto Sakala says government remains committed to ensuring that the Zambian people have access to clean safe drinking water and adequate sanitation services.
Mr Sakala disclosed that three dams and six weires will be constructed under the MOU.
The PS further revealed 1,500 new boreholes will be drilled and equipped with hand pumps while 330 boreholes will be constructed to support emergencies and strategic institutions.
While a further 3,000 boreholes will also be rehabilitated under the MOU.
He said under the MOU it is also planned that 50 piped water schemes will be constructed in addition a total of 30 piped water schemes will be rehabilitated.
The PS has since assured the cooperating partners that the resources allocated towards the water sector will be utilised in a prudent and transparent manner.