By KASONDE KASONDE -
THE Japanese government has handed over a water project in Mangango area of Kaoma District worth more than K1.8million.
Japanese ambassador to Zambia Hidenobu Sobashima said his government signed a grant with Village Water Zambia to facilitate the implementation of a project to construct a water supply system at a total cost of K1, 890,878.
Mr Sobashima said residents of Mangango in Western Province faced a number of challenges regarding access to clean and safe drinking water as a number of old wells had dried up or pumps were not working.
He said small children and women had to carry water from Luena River, which runs through the area leading to many children dropping out of school.
“With 8112 people out of 1352 families will benefit from the water project, I hope that the water system will efficiently benefit the community and be a symbol of the friendship between Zambian and Japanese,” Mr Sobashima said.
And Chief Mutondo of the Nkoya speaking people of Kaoma thanked the Japanese government for the project as the area had been hit with water crisis.
Chief Mutondo said water was life and s basic human right, hence the need to ensure everyone had access to safe drinking water.
Western Province Minister Richard Kapita said Government would endeavour to provide the citizens with safe drinking water among other services to promote a healthy and productive people.
Mr Kapita said it was gratifying to note that the solar water purifying system was the first ever in the country.
He said Government places significant efforts in increasing the number of people accessing clean water both in urban and rural areas.
Mr Kapita said it was in line with the Seventh National Development Plan and the Vision 2030 as well as improve hygiene standards.
He said Government was spending a lot of money of its budget allocation in improving water reticulation in the country, especially with the cholera outbreak in some parts of the country.
Government was sinking over 1, 400 boreholes across the 16 districts in the province with support from the African Development Bank.
He said this in a speech read on his behalf by Western Province assistant secretary Beatrice Muyambango.