|During launch of Mikiloni Water Project -Picture by TIO Zambia|
By Paul Shalala in Chingola
It is a settlement which was illegal for almost twenty years.
Its legalization was only done in 2015.
And now services from the local authorities are slowly reaching these people.
Mikiloni is a compound in Chingola which sprung up near a mine dumpsite.
The area has had no clean running water for its population which is estimated to be close to 15,000.
Residents drink water from shallow wells and from quarries which are remnants of mining activities in the area.
In the past year, two people have drowned in one of the largest quarries while fetching water.
This just shows how people in this area risk to find drinking water.
“I have lived in Mikiloni for the past 15 years and we have no single water pipe from Mulonga Water and Sewerage Company. We are also Zambians, we deserve water,” said 56 year old George Chellah.
Other residents are worried with the quality of water they currently consume.
“We have problems here. Water is a challenge. We have been drinking from shallow wells and this is not safe for us and our children. Waterborne diseases are common in our compound,” said Mary Chanda in an interview.
|Mikiloni residents at the launch -Picture by DTF|
However, the people of Mikiloni will soon have clean running water for the first time in their lives.
The water utility firm Mulonga Water and Sewerage Company is in the process of connecting over 600 households with water.
The Devolution Trust Fund (DTF), which is an arm of the National Water Supply and Sanitation Council (NWASCO), has provided K3 million to connect the area to its water reticulation system.
This means residents will also have sewerage services.
Currently, they use pit latrines to answer the call of nature.
“Under the Mikiloni Water Project, we are connecting 600 households. This translates into 10,000 beneficiaries. We hope to complete phase one of the project in June this year,” said Mulonga Water and Sewerage Company Public Relations Manager Debora Kangende.
The project was launched in January this year and so far, significant progress has been made on the ground.
A check by this blogger in neighbouring Maiteneke area found workers from the utility digging trenches were pipes will be laid to transport water to Mikiloni.
In some areas, pipes have already been laid.
EDITOR'S NOTE: This story was also aired on TV1's Newsline program on 02 February, 2017. The video can be watched on this YouTube link: Mikiloni Compound Water Project