Zamtan community receives clean water supply, crucial for fight against COVID-19
Kitwe, Zambia – 27 July 2020 – The Zamtan community and local municipality on Friday, celebrated the completion and the handover of the community's Water Scheme which will provide a safe and reliable water supply to the people of Zamtan, Kitwe, an area frequently affected by water crises affecting the lives of everyday Zambians.
The water-scheme, initiated by Barloworld Equipment Zambia and Village Water Zambia, which will be managed and maintained by the district, local water utility company, and the Zamtan community, was officially handed over at the ceremony on Friday 24 July 2020, after unavoidable delays in completion due to necessary countrywide COVID-19 restrictions, enacted to mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Access to safe water is critical for the wellbeing of all communities, a factor that has been reinforced during the challenging COVID-19 pandemic.
Lack of water supply poses a serious threat to the effectiveness of Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) measures required to prevent the spread of COVID-19. In May, as one of the initiatives of its COVID-19 Multi-sectoral Contingency and Response Plan, in partnership with the United Nations and COVID-19 Emergency Appeal, the Zambian government provided access to safe water for over 28,000 people, and provided WASH supplies including soap and/or hygiene kits to 106,660 people and over 96 schools. The completion of the Zamtan Community Water Scheme will assist in facilitating IPC measures in the Copperbelt Province.
Prior to the Scheme's construction, residents of Zamtan community struggled with piped water provision, and largely had to depend on shallow wells for water. Now, the completed water-scheme will see almost 20,000 households' benefit from easier access to safe water, through a sustainable, and equitable water-supply distributed via boreholes.
The unveiling of the water-scheme was attended and supported by members of the Kitwe City Council, and local Zamtan community leaders, school leadership as well as representatives of Barloworld Equipment Zambia, and Village Water Zambia. Barloworld Equipment Zambia Ltd also donated 350 COVID – 19 hygiene kits comprising of Re-usable masks, hand sanitizer & handwashing soap, to the students at the school who are writing national exams.
Barloworld Equipment Zambia Country Manager, Mfikeyi Makayi is pleased the company was able to assist the Zamtan community, "The Kafue Bridge SecondarySchool, and surrounding households within the Zamtan community will now have access to safe water sources, and we believe this will make a lasting, sustainable impact on the residents lives, particularly as its members have been upskilled, and empowered to maintain the system to keep it in good working order."
Elisha Ng'onomo, director of implementing partner Village Water Zambia, hailed the partnership for the positive impact that it would have for members of the community. "We are grateful for the opportunity to make a meaningful contribution in the Kitwe district, and value the guidance, facilitation and support provided by His Lordship the Mayor of Kitwe City, Christopher Kang'ombe, members of the Kitwe City Council, and the Zamtan community in bringing this project to fruition," he remarked.
Providing clean water and sanitation is high on the list of the United Nations Development Programme's Sustainable Development Goals, and is fundamental in fighting the novel coronavirus, and preserving the health and well-being of millions. If we are to stop the virus, more private public initiatives such as the Zamtan Community Water Scheme are urgently needed to assist already-stretched governments.