By MacPherson Mukuka
On 22 March of every year, Zambia joins the rest of the world in commemorating the World Water Day… this year''s event was held on the Sunday under the theme: Water for sustainable development…
However, Zambia had to push the commemoration of the event to Wednesday March 25th, to attract more participation especially from the general public.
During the very day of the event, Zambia being a SADC member state was also celebrating the water week which coincides with the commemoration of world water.
Speaking on the sidelines of the Commemoration, World Vision Zambia, Water and Sanitation Hygiene (WASH) technical advisor Sebastian Kunda, says sustainable development can only be attained if there is water provision in the communities.
Mr. Kunda adds that domestication of water especially in rural communities gives a families enough time to do other things other than concentrating of drawing water from distant places.
Mr. Kunda says his Organisation which focuses on the development of children’s education, health and wellbeing in totality, has been working relentlessly in the Southern Province of Zambia to see to it that water and Sanitation is provided to the rural families.
He said the provision of water in the area has made the life of farmers in the Southern province because they can now grow vegetables for marketing from which they realize some funds to pay for their children’s education.
He said Gwembe and Magoye farmers have mainly benefited from the World Vision’s projects as most of them are into dairy farming.
He said this has been so because the World Vision in enhancing the provision of water as a resource for sustainable development.
The Wash technical advisor further indicated that Government has a huge task ahead of it to ensure there is provision of water for sustainable development in Zambia.
He said the Ministry of Mines Energy and Water Development needs to set up community dam that will provide readily available water for communities to venture into irrigation farming and thereby earn some income once the produce are ready for sale.
Mr. Kunda further said if the abundant water resource that Zambia has is utilised to maximum potential, even the power outages the country is currently facing will come to an end because there will be more Hydro Power stations in the country to generate more electricity to mitigate the deficit.
Meanwhile, United Nations Children’s Fund wash officer Humble Siboli told a gathering during the Water Day exhibition that his Organisation has been supporting the government of Zambia through the provision of boreholes which supplied to over 8 hundred thousand people.
And Government says water is at the core of sustainable development and is critical for socio-economic development, healthy ecosystems and for human survival.
Energy and Water Development Deputy Minister Charles Zulu also told the Gathering that Water is Vital for reducing the global burden of disease and improving the health, welfare and productivity of populations.
Mr. Zulu also noted that although Zambia boast of relatively abundant water resources, the country is still faced with challenges in ensuring access to sustainable safe water supplies for all competing needs.
And Bright well Ntini a school going pupil of Chawama Township, called on Government to ensure that the theme: water for sustainable development, is seen to its logical conclusion.
Meanwhile, National Water Supply and Sanitation Council (NWASCO) Public relations Manager Rose Tembo the 2015 theme water day theme has come at the right time when the world is reviewing the progress it has made on the millennium development goals on water.
According to research, Zambia holds about 40 percent of the resource in the SADC region, yet provision of safe and clean drinking water is still a challenge… worse still on the day the people where having a good time at the event, some residents in some parts of Lusaka where busy moving about with containers looking for water.