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FAMILIARIZATION TOUR OF EASTERN PROVINCE

In an effort to attain the set goals in the Seventh National Development Plan (7NDP), Vision 2030, and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Ministry in accordance with its mandate is implementing programmes and projects aimed at accelerating the provision of clean and safe water with adequate sanitation services, thereby enhancing national water security for social economic development as well as ensuring environmental protection

In view of the above, the Honourable Minister, Mr. Mike E Mposha conducted a familiarization tour of Eastern Province from 12th to 17th October, 2021 to acquaint himself with the successes and challenges being experienced in the implementation of projects and programmes in the Province.

This report highlights the findings during the Minister’s tour of Chipata, Petauke Sinda, and Nyimba districts.

The Minister of Water Development and Sanitation paid a courtesy call on Chieftainess Mwanjabanthu who was at Chimwemwe Lodge in Petauke District. The Honourable Minister informed Her Royal Highness on his task to familiarise himself with water projects in the District. The Minister indicated that he intended to visit Kaumbwe Constituency which is located in Chieftainess Mwanjabathu chiefdom. He further informed the Chieftainess that he was aware of the 30 water boreholes that were previously drilled and that only 9 were equipped under the Community Development Fund, hence his visit to the constituency.

Her Royal highness thanked the Honourable Minister for the visit and stated that indeed the people of Kaumbwe were very expectant to realizing access to safe and clean water for both human and animal consumption. She also indicated that dams in the area needed to be rehabilitated in order to store sufficient water for the community.

The Acting District Commissioner, Mr. William K. Tembo welcomed the Hon. Minister and his entourage to the District and reported to the Minister, that the District had a population of 366,000.

The urban population was serviced with four (4) boreholes located at the Farmers Training Institute (FTI) under Eastern Water and Sanitation Company, and that the Peri-urban population was serviced through the 21 existing communal kiosks. During the tour, it was also reported that 3 out of the 21 kiosks were non-functional due to calcium blockage. The District also recorded a total of 2,728 water connections to the network giving a water coverage of about 75% in the serviced areas. He further, reported that the water demand stood at 3600m3, while, Eastern Water and Sanitation Company was producing 2400m3. He also reported that Petauke District was subjected to intermittent water supply due to: High concentration of calcium in the water which had posed a challenge by blocking service lines and water meters.

The Acting District Commissioner also requested the Ministry to consider drilling more boreholes, installation of storage tanks, and a network distribution system to supply densely populated areas in the outskirts of Petauke District namely: Minga, Ukwimi, Kalindawalo, Mumbi, Mwanjawathu and Nyamphande.

Further, he reported that Petauke District had a total of 45 dams, out of which seven (7) were built between 1946 and 1967, and that no serious rehabilitation works have taken place since inception. Some of the dams included: Nyandubane dam in kaumbwe ward, Amose dam in ongolwe ward, Mwanjabanthu dam in kaumbwe ward, Chivunga dam in Mbala ward, Kanyanda dam in Myika ward, Lutwazi dam in lutwazi ward and Cheso dam in Mbala ward, Mumbi dam in Mumbi Chiefdom among others.

The Acting District Commissioner further reported that the Department of Water Resource had since inspected 5 of the damaged dams as a preliminary assessment. Consequently, three (3) concept notes were developed for Cheso, Chivunga, and Amose dam for rehabilitation and were shared with the Ministry and Non-Governmental Organisations.

Mumbi dam in Ongolwe ward was surveyed and designed for possible construction while three (3) other dams namely; Amose in Ongolwe ward, Lutwazi in Lutwazi ward and kanyanda in Nyika ward were surveyed and designed for possible rehabilitation in collaboration with a consultant COWI.

In response, the Hon Minister directed the Province to undertake a full assessment of all existing dams as Government’s development agenda was more anchored on agriculture. With regards to calcium challenges, he informed the meeting that his Ministry had embarked on a long term solution of migrating from groundwater to surface water. The Lusowe dam was identified as a potential site which was about 12km from the town center.

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