The state of water and sanitation in Townships of Lusaka has remained poor. Last week, I visited Chipata, Chaisa, Kanyama and John Laing settlements.
Most households have no toilets while most of the toilet infrastructure available in a deplorable state.
In fact, most of the toilets are not permenent structures. They are makeshift arrangements, wrapped in an assortment of skins such as empty mealie-meal bags, cement bags, old corragated roofing sheets and such materials.
The pits under the toilets are also very shallow and are contaminating the water in the wells, since there is inadequate supply of piped water.
There is need for the authorities, communities and all stakeholders to galvanise efforts aimed at improving the water and sanitation state in the Townnhips.
Most of the Townships in Zambia are hit by water borne diseases such as cholera and dysentry especially during the rainy season. This is largely because there is no safe water and sanitation.
The time is now to plan ahead and avert all the disease outbreaks that affect the Townships before and during the on-set of the rains.
There is need to erect more toilets, dig drainage systems and build better housing structures. There is also need to pump a sense of responsibility in the the residents there that they must care and maintain the infrastructure because it belongs to nobody else other than themselves.
It is barely six months after most most of the Townships were submerged in floods during the previous rainy season. The effects are known. If what I have discussed was taken into consideration, then we would have been talking differently.
The time to act was yesterday. Today, we have to make and because it is too late. But, it is better late than never!