Kalabo, June 17, 2019, ZANIS--- A Sanitation and Hygiene Expert Tumba Mupango says a cross section of people in Western Province will benefit from the US$38.22 million “Transforming Rural Livelihoods in Western Zambia Project” government is implementing.

Mrs Mupango, who is part of the Provincial Support Team, says 754,000 and 573,000 people across the 16 districts of Western will have access to water supply and adequate sanitation, respectively.

Speaking in Kalabo during a stakeholders’ consultative meeting with area chiefs from Kalabo and Sikongo districts, Mrs. Mupango said 52 percent of the beneficiaries would be women adding that school pupils were also major beneficiaries of the water and sanitation programme.

She disclosed that 46 per cent of 1,169 machine drilled boreholes, 34 per cent of 150 manually drilled boreholes and 4 percent of 250 hand dug wells have so far been equipped.

Mrs Mupango explained that a total cost of US$18.68 million was being spent on Water Supply Infrastructure Development.

Speaking during the same meeting, Community Development Expert Mwangala Chiwala called for gender equality in the implementation of water and sanitation programmes.

Mrs Chiwala however observed that poor water and sanitation facilities mostly affect women and children.

She appealed to traditional leaders to use their authority and serve as agents of change for improved water and sanitation in rural communities.

And speaking on behalf of fellow traditional leaders, Chief Chumbula of Lulang’unyi sub-chiefdom in Sikongo district said all the chiefs were ready to champion the provision of safe drinking water and adequate sanitation.

And speaking when the Provincial Support Team paid a courtesy call on him, Acting Kalabo District Administrative Officer John Kapela said many rural communities in the district were still prone to unsafe water and poor sanitation facilities.

Mr Kapela however,  said government was implementing a number of measures aimed at scaling up the provision of safe domestic water and adequate sanitation facilities.

He implored all key players to promote multi-sectoral measures aimed at providing adequate water and sanitation facilities especially in fishing camps and nomadic camps.