By Christopher Chisi
Government is concerned that unsafe sanitation remains a serious challenge that is becoming more urgent due to trend such as global population increase, water scarcity and urbanization intensify.
Ministry of Water Development Sanitation and Environmental Protection, Permanent Secretary Mabvuto Sakala notes that solving the sanitation challenge will require breakthrough innovations in technologies as well as systems that are practical and cost effective.
“To achieve meaningful progress towards improved access to water supply and sanitation services in line with vision 2030 as well as the Sustainable Development Goals, government has come up with various national programs ,policies and strategies to facilitate water and sanitation service provision which include, the National Water Policy of 2010,National Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Program of 2016 to 2030.Others are the National Urban and Peri Urban Sanitation Strategy 2015 to 2030 ,Framework for provision and Regulation of Urban Onsite Sanitation Services and the Open Defecation Free Strategy among others.” he said.
He therefore reaffirmed government’s commitment to improving access to adequate Water and Sanitation especially in Peri-Urban and Rural areas with the view to improve livelihoods of the citizens.
The Permanent Secretary in a speech read for him by Ministry Director of Planning Information, Tobias Musonda during the Africa Water, Sanitation Advocacy and Implementing Partnership Workshop further explained that government remains committed to increasing the allocation to the water sector of at least 0.5 percent of the Country’s Gross Domestic Product in line with the regional and global commitment the country had made.
“The Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Sector has seen an increase in the 2020 budget by 32 percent from 2018.As government we are committed to increase budget allocation to the sector of at least 0.5 percent of the GDP in line with regional and global commitment the country has made. For instance the proposed allocation in the 2020 budget stands at 1.8 percent of the GDP,” he assured.
Meanwhile Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Senior Program Officer officer, Eric Momanyi reaffirmed their resolve to working with government to provide quality water and Sanitation.
Earlier Lusaka Water and Sewerage Company, Managing Director Engineer Jonathan Kampata says the water Utility firm is on the path of transformation and they will change their name to Lusaka Water and Sanitation.
“As Lusaka Water and Sewerage Company, we are on the path of transformation, even our name will change, we are going to be called Lusaka Water and Sanitation, the process is ongoing to officially change that name. This is in recognition that we have to provide safe sanitation to all residents of Lusaka,” he said.