Zambian women deserve better and those opposed to my decision to uplift them should leave my Government, President Edgar Lungu has declared.
President Lungu said women and children have for a long time been oppressed by men and it was time now to free them and have their voices heard.
He said he wanted to have women in Government to be part of decision-making, adding that women have proved to be good leaders and managers.
“Let me say this at this time. I know that some people are not happy with my style of Government because of the appointment of women. But I have to say that women deserve better. We have oppressed them for too long.
‘‘Women come and be part of Government and those who are opposed to this should leave my Government because I will continue empowering women and children and even the youths,” President Lungu said.
He said this yesterday during the ground-breaking ceremony to mark the official launch of the Luapula Province groundwater development project Phase 3 financed by the Japanese International Co-operation Agency (JICA).
He said this was the reason why his Government was taking development to rural areas of the country to cushion the suffering of women and children.
“Once these projects are completed, the long distances our mothers and children take to access water will be reduced. This is also to steer this great nation to the status of middle income nation by 2030,” President Lungu said.
And President Lungu says the provision of clean and safe drinking water was the only way to fight water-borne diseases and improve the quality of life for the people of Zambia in the quest to address the high levels of poverty.
President Lungu said lack of safe and clean drinking water and better sanitation services was one key factor contributing to high levels of poverty in the country.
“We all know that lack of clean, safe drinking water and better sanitation services is one of the key factors contributing to poverty in the country and the world over. Low access to this valuable commodity has resulted into waterborne-related diseases and deaths in some parts of our country,” President Lungu said.
He said so far a total of K55. 3 million had been mobilised from the Japanese government through JICA for the improvement of water supply and sanitation services in Luapula Province.
He said the K55. 3 million project will be implemented in Mansa, Chipili, Nchelenge, Milenge, Chembe and Mwense.
He said the project would involve the drilling of 176 boreholes which would target 82 000 beneficiaries.
“My Government has further mobilised funds amounting to K18.5 million to implement water reticulation projects in Kashiba and Lukwesa areas of Mwense district. These projects involve the construction of piped water schemes and drilling of boreholes in the area to benefit a further 24,000 people,” President Lungu said.
Meanwhile, JICA representative Hisanao Noda said the project would cost K55. 3 million and that the Japanese government was happy to be associated with the development of the country.
Local Government and Housing minister Steven Kampyongo said the water scheme President Lungu had launched in Luapula was aimed at improving the quality of life in the province.