THE massive urban drift of the post-independence era triggered an influx of citizens from all corners of the country into the capital, Lusaka. The influx of people into Lusaka also came with challenges of settlement for the people and the consequential need for the local authorities to provide municipal services such as sanitation and water reticulation.
The hundreds of people who were flocking to urban areas created a critical shortage of residential space for a country that only had three million people at independence in 1964.
In 1970, one of the townships which was created by the government in response to the rural-urban migration of the time was the Kaunda Square settlement which was divided into Kaunda Square Stage 1 and Kaunda Square Stage 2. The township was named “Kaunda Square” in honour of the first Republican President, Dr. Kenneth Kaunda.
Kaunda Square’s sewer network was designed only for a small population of just about two thousand people. Over the years, the population in the small township has increased to exponential levels thereby putting more pressure on the limited and deteriorating sewer infrastructure.
Realizing that the past performance in the sanitation sector had been poor, the government through the SNDP prioritized investments in sanitation in order to improve economic growth and quality of life. The SNDP presents ambitious targets for improved sanitation coverage and increased national budget to support this aim. Through the Lusaka Sanitation Programme (LSP), which started in the year 2015, the government set in motion an ambitious programme which supports the Government’s development plan by improving sanitation services of the poor in order to effect improvements in public health and raise the dignity of the people.
The Lusaka Sanitation Programme, is the single biggest sanitation project in the history of Zambia being at a cost of two hundred and eight million dollars (280 million US Dollars)
The Government of the Republic of Zambia (GRZ), through the Lusaka Sanitation Programme (LSP), which is a programme of the Lusaka Water Supply and Sanitation Company (LWSC), has now completed the rehabilitation and construction of a new sewer network in Kaunda Square stage one.
Over two thousand seven hundred (2,700) households have since been connected to the new sewer network which translates into an estimate of over sixteen thousand people benefiting in the area.
This development is good news for the residents of Kaunda Square township were sewer blockages have been the order of the day partly due to dilapidated infrastructure but largely because of the practice of dumping solid waste into the network by the residents.
This also assures performance improvement in the area of sewerage service delivery by Lusaka Water Supply and Sanitation Company and it is expected to improve the townships public health outcomes, such as the incidence of cholera, dysentery, typhoid, diarrhea and environmental enteropathy.
The Lusaka Sanitation Program (LSP) is intended to improve public health, chronic malnutrition and reduce environmental pollution. Through the provision of adequate sanitation services, the program is expected to improve Lusaka’s poor public health outcomes, in particular, the incidence of cholera, dysentery, typhoid, diarrhea and environmental enteropathy, all of which have a strong impact on children under five stunting levels and mortality. These health outcomes predominantly impact the poor, and therefore the project is expected to primarily benefit poor households in Lusaka.
This is a program aimed at improving access to sanitation in the City of Lusaka and strengthening the capacity of LWSC to manage Sanitation Services. The program is funded by the Government of the Republic of Zambia (GRZ), African Development Bank (AfDB), World Bank (WB), European Investment Bank (EIB) and the Germany Development Bank (KFW).
In light of the aforementioned, on 28th November 2018, Lusaka Water Supply and Sanitation Company through the Lusaka Sanitation Program signed the works contract “For the Rehabilitation, Upgrade and Expansion of Sewerage Infrastructure under the African Development Bank (AfDB) Component of The Lusaka Sanitation Program – Contract Package 1” with Sinohydro Corporation Limited. The contract sum for this contract package at a total of $31 Million. The project has seen the expansion and upgrade of the sewer reticulation systems in Kaunda Square, Matero, selected parts of Lusaka as well as the rehabilitation of the Noxious Pump Station in Industrial Area. This development will improve infrastructure and increase the flow capacity which will cater for projected flows for the planning horizon of up to year 2040.
Other improvements recorded include; the upgrade and expansion of sewerage systems in the Ngwerere and Manchinchi sewersheds. Collection system upgrading and expansion based on priority 1 investments as identified in the Lusaka Sanitation Master Plan by LWSC.
Year 1 investments include sewer network expansion in Emmasdale and Chaisa neighborhoods and Kafue Road and upgrade of Ngwerere Western Interceptor. This has also been completed and residents and business houses are required to connect. Year 2 to 5 investments include network expansion in Chawama, Kuomboka and Garden, upgrade of Ngwerere Downstream Collector and upgrade and extension of Ngwerere Sewage Ponds.
The completion of the upgrading and rehabilitation of the sewer network in Kaunda Square is a demonstration of the commitment by the government through its agent, Lusaka Water Supply and Sanitation Company to improve access to adequate sanitation in the City.
The author is the Public Relations Officer at LWSC.
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