Kaunda Square ‘cry’ over continued blocked sewers
By Staff Reporter
Residents of Kaunda square stage one area in Lusaka have bemoaned the broken sewer system in their area which has been constantly blocking for many years.
And a Lusaka resident, Mainda Simataa is saddened to see residents of Chawama, Kanyama, Misisi and other poor compounds struggling to fill up a bucket with water while those suburbs filling up their swimming pools.
Those spoken to wondered why the Lusaka Water and Sewerage Company has been ignoring their plea and yet they were swift to respond to the sewer contamination in the elite areas of Kabulonga and Ibex Hill.
Residents complained to newsdayzambia.com that they had been experiencing the problem for many years claiming that sometimes LWSC unblocks the system but only for a short time.
“Please help us. We feel neglected that we are made to live with sewer affluence as a way of life. We have lived with blocked sewers everyday of our lives. Children play around the blocked sewers because some of them are found around the yard or along commonly used inner paths. It’s difficult to even walk to church or the market. We fear that unlike our friends in Kabulonga where there was prompt response, we have equally been drinking sewer contaminated water” said Charity Chileshe.
Another resident, Mary Bwalya said each time they ask the utility company why they could not find a lasting solution, they claimed they did not have adequate transport.
“I don’t know if this is because we are in the lower class of society that we are regarded less important. Why would thy subject us to such a life and not get bothered over our cries? Are we less human than those in Ibex Hill and Kabulonga?” she asked.
Three weeks ago residents of Nyumba Yanga, Kabulonga and Ibex areas had their drinking water contaminated when sewer affluence spilled into the LWSC reservoirs prompting public outcry.
This led to LWSC publicly apologizing for its negligence and the water authority NWASCO conducted an investigation and clearly indicated, in a statement that there was sewer spillage in the drinking water thereby leading to quick intervention.
What is surprising however, is that residents of Kaunda Square have been neglected and ignored for so long even after lodging complaints on the matter for sometime now.
And Simataa said the time-worn motto of One Zambia One Nation literally did not hold any water when it comes to the issue of water as discrepancies were broad.
“The rich (the ruling class especially) and the “some of us” types have lots of water, they literally swim in it and pour it into their lush gardens; while the poor majority have to line up for it, and in extreme cases, even fight for it,” said Simataa
He said if water was indeed life, it followed therefore that whoever doesn’t have access to it was actually deprived of a life-giving substance, and consequently, denied of their humanity.
“Yet despite water being the most fundamental requirement for life on earth, the issue barely registers as part of national discourse! More ‘trendy’ stories like Kalusha being let off the hook by FIFA, or a Minister posting porn in a WhatsApp group, take centre stage,” he said.
Simataa mentioned that the infrequently discussed issue of water is both a political and social issue with explosive potential, if not given necessary attention, because leaders had failed on a mere failure to deliver on the promise of clean water.
“Water is a human right as important as anything ever was. Let’s fight for it, for others, and save lives,” said Simataa.
And some women talked to in Lusaka’s Chunga compound told newsdayzambia.com that they travel distances to fetch clean water for drinking.
The women said they have taps on their homes which remained dry for many years.
“We have wells at our home but the water is not safe for drinking, if we drink that water we risk killing ourselves and we may have a lot of waterborne diseases, so we are appealing to our elected leaders to help us to have access to safe drinking water,” one of them lamented.