Minister of Water Development and Sanitation Mike Mposha unveiled the boards of the National Water Supply and Sanitation Council (NWASCO) and the Water Resources Management Authority (WARMA) to serve for the next three years.
Mr. Mposha disclosed that the Boards consists of members who have been carefully selected from various professional bodies and associations, based on merit and considering gender equity.
He added that the appointed members possess diverse skills, knowledge and specialization needed for the institutions to perform to the expectations of the people of Zambia.
The Minister noted that the NWASCO and WARMA boards play a critical role in helping fulfill government’s agenda to providing its citizens with clean and safe water as a catalyst to economic development, in line with the vision 2030 and Zambia’s commitment to the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals SDGs.
“Government attaches great importance in superintending over the affairs of WARMA and NWASCO as they are critical in delivering government policies and the strategic focus of these two institutions” he said.
Mr. Mposha said access to clean and safe water has remained a huge challenge in Zambia due to the increase in population, climate change effects and poor water and sanitation infrastructure and has disclosed that despite the improvements achieved in water supply, a lot still needs to be done.
He has appealed to the NWASCO board to address all the challenges of water supply and sanitation, as well as heighten monitoring of water utility bodies to ensure that they provide water and sanitation services to the rural areas and ensure that the quality of drinking water provided is in line with the national and international standards as prescribed by the World Health Organization.
“I wish to appeal to the NWASCO board to heighten the monitoring of water utilities operations in ensuring the provision of clean and safe water supply to all. This is in order to ensure that the ministry’s policy directive to water utilities to ensure rural areas which have been starved with water and sanitation services are brought on board. This is long overdue, “he said.
He has further urged WARMA to address the need to mitigate the effects of climate change, pollution of water bodies, encroachment of headwaters and water zones as well as unsustainable use of water resources as they are a critical aspect in the attainment of sustainable development in the country.
Mr. Mposha has disclosed that the ministry has developed performance contracts for the boards to ensure that they perform according to the expectations of the ministry and has warned that non-performance will lead to revocation of appointments.
Meanwhile, Ministry of Water Development and Sanitation Permanent Secretary Joe Kalusa said the appointment of the Board for the two bodies will help shorten and improve the decision making process at the institutions and has urged the appointed board members to be transparent and accountable in their operations to achieve key milestones in their institutions.
“This occasion is very important as the presence of the boards at these institutions will shorten and improve the process of decision making at the institutions. This is because they will no longer have to seek approval and guidance from the Ministry on each and every aspect of their operations” he said.
And newly appointed WARMA Board Chairperson John Kunda says he is humbled by the appointment and has committed to ensuring that the strategic focus of WARMA is aligned to ensure that the country’s water resource is harnessed and protected for the good of the country as it contributes to economic growth and sustaining of livelihoods of the people.