Accessing safe drinking water continues to be one of the most pressing challenges facing African rural communities. Despite considerable and concerted investments over the past decade, many rural communities still encounter huge clean water supply challenges – even to the extent of women walking for kilometres to find clean water.
Zambia, like most African countries, still grapples with the challenge of accessing clean and safe drinking water. According to the United Nations International Children’s Fund, (UNICEF) it is estimated that over 4.8 million Zambians live without access to clean water and 6.6-million lack access to sanitation.
Providing clean and safe drinking water remains top priority for the Zambian government. However, achieving this requires concerted efforts from cooperating partners.
The need to involve and empower local communities and governments in managing their natural resources, and to bring positive impacts to local communities, including community development, livelihoods improvement and poverty reduction, has caused BioCarbon Partners (BCP) to take a keen interest in investing in and promoting water-related projects in Zambia.
In order to do this, BioCarbon Partners Trust has entered into a partnership Water 282, a non-profit NGO dedicated to giving safe, clean water and good sanitation and hygiene practices to people in rural communities in Zambia.
Through this partnership, at the end of 2014, 3 boreholes were sunk and handed over in 3 village locations in Rufunsa District, in areas where BCP is currently working as part of the Lower Zambezi REDD+ Project (LZRP). The Boreholes are estimated to support over 124 hundred households in Nsambilo, Shimaluba and Chikobeni villages. The boreholes were delivered immediately usable as they were capped, with cement slabs and hand pumps. The total direct value of drilling the boreholes was $18,000, not including in-kind support from the communities and BCP.
Present at the launch event, the Deputy Minister of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection, Hon. Danny Chingimbu, reiterated the Zambian Government’s commitment to working with well-meaning investors in the provision of infrastructure and other necessities as needed in rural areas.
“Government is very happy with the gesture shown by Water 282 and BCP. The boreholes sunk in Rufunsa District will go a long way in complementing government efforts in providing clean and safe drinking water to rural communities across the country” explained Hon. Chingimbu.
Meanwhile, BioCarbon Partners (BCP) Managing Director, Hassan Sachedina said BioCarbon Partners will endeavor to support the Zambian government through its implementation of projects that will contribute to poverty reduction and enhance community livelihood.
“The sinking of boreholes is one of the many developmental activities BCP is implementing in Zambia with an aim to enhance forest protection, improve livelihoods and promote conservation in rural communities. BCP is working hard to draw a clear link between deforestation reduction and community benefits in Rufunsa District with scalable potential to other areas of Zambia,” added Sachedina.
Photos: Borehole launch event in Rufunsa District, marking the handover of 3 boreholes that were sunk through a partnership between Water 282 and BCP Trust. Shown in the photos: Deputy Minister Honourable Danny Chingimbu (in Suit) Ministry of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection, Mr. Paul Kasongo, District Commissioner for Rufunsa, officials from Ministry of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection and community representatives.
— Blog post written by Desmond Katongo, Communications Specialist, with contributions from David Mwanza, Governance Manager