SONG and dance characterised the handover of a borehole to the Reformed Church of Zambia (RCZ) Sinda congregation by the Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines Investment Holdings (ZCCM-IH) recently. Even from afar the joy on the faces of the residents could be seen.
The church, which has a population of 5,000 congregants is surrounded by Mtendere, Tilitonse and Chamavu communities.
The three communities, have an estimated population of more than 10,000 people who are predominantly peasant farmers.
For some time now, access to clean and safe drinking water has been a challenge in the communities of the recently declared Sinda district and Mtendere, Chamavu and Tilitonse are not an exception.
The sources of water are mostly shallow wells which were usually shared between the people and animals and in most cases the water is contaminated, posing a huge health risk to the people.
As if that is not enough, the people here were used to walking a distance of about 2 kilometres to the nearest water point to get the commodity when most water sources nearby went dry.
“Our women woke up as early as 02:00 hours to go and queue up for water. In most cases, they came back with empty containers. This was very challenging as their lives were at risk. In addition to that, most marriages were at risk as men thought their wives were not faithful to them,” said Daniel Chamvu a resident of Mtendere community.
However, the situation is about to change as ZCCM-IH recently drilled a borehole in Mtendere community under its ‘Clean water for Zambia’ project aimed at improving access to clean and safe drinking water in many rural parts of the country.
The project which is valued at K500,000 will see 11 boreholes drilled in designated rural areas before the end of the year. So far, two out of the 11 boreholes have been drilled in Sinda.
The recently-drilled borehole will help in shortening distances that people covered in search of water.
And a resident of Chamavu community, Kawereka Banda expressed happiness at the gesture by ZCCM-IH and said the borehole will go a long way in improving the quality of life of the people of the three communities.
“Our children were not even able to go to school because of shortage of water. There was also a high number of cholera and diarrhoea cases in our communities. Now that we have water at our door step, the health of our people will improve, thereby promoting productivity, as they say a healthy community is a developed one,” he said with a smile.
Banda also said easy access to water will also spur the growth of agriculture in the area as people will not spend most of their time looking for water.
And Sinda district commissioner Rodgers Sakala said access to clean and safe drinking water is a necessary component in every country’s development.
Mr Sakala said it is the desire of the government that every household must have running water at its door step by the year 2030.
“As Government, we are alive to the many challenges that our people are facing as far as access to safe and clean drinking water is concerned. Water is very essential to the health and general well-being of our people. I am optimistic that our people here in Sinda will no longer walk long distances to access water,” Mr Sakala said.
He appealed to the people of Sinda to guard the facility jealously in order to enable other residents of the surrounding communities benefit from the borehole.
And ZCCM-IH executive director Dr Pius Kasolo said his company, in partnership with Government is committed to improving the quality of life for all Zambians by ensuring that challenges of shortage of water becomes a thing of the past.
He pledged ZCCM-IH’s continued support to programmes aimed at taking clean and safe drinking water close to the people.
“Water is life and without it life becomes difficult, government in partnership with ZCCM-IH is committed to ensuring that all Zambians have easy access to water. Once people have clean water they will have healthy and productive lives,” He said.
And another resident of Tilitonse community Elina Phiri said the gesture by ZCCM-IH has given a sigh of relief to the women of Sinda district.
She said the borehole could not have come at a better time than now when access to water has become increasingly challenging for most communities.
It is, therefore, the responsibility and duty of every resident of the three communities to guard the facility jealously so that it sustains their livelihood in the long run.
Source: Daily Mail