SEVERAL townships in Lusaka have been hit by a water crisis following some damaged water pipes which were ripped off by Avic road contractors who are currently constructing roads in the city.
Residents are now forced to walk long distances to neighbouring areas to access water and those who cannot manage have resorted to fetching the commodity from unsafe sources.
Some parts of Kamwala, Kabwata, Libala South and Chawama have had a water challenge for the past one week.
But Lusaka Water and Sewerage Company (LWSC) public relations manager Topsy Sikalinda assured residents affected that the problem would be solved and water would soon be restored, as the water utility engineers were already on the ground repairing the damaged pipes.
Mr. Sikalinda said LWSC regretted the inconvenience caused to the residents and has blamed the contractor for not communicating with the water utility when moving to site.
“Our engineers are already working on the damaged pipes and water will soon be restored to the few areas which have been affected, so our appeal to the people is that they should remain calm and not panic;it will soon be solved.
“The problem is that these contractors don’t consult us when moving to a site for us to give them a clear guideline on where our pipes are, it’s not safe for people to stay without water,” he said. Mr. Sikalinda disclosed that the water utility had written to the contractor Avic on how the two parties could work together and prevent such occurrences in the future.
“We have written to the contractor and we hope that this would bring about communication between LWSC and Avic and the water crisis caused by road works will be a thing of the past,” he said.
And speaking on behalf of the affected residents, Mwaka Namwila of Kamwala urged the LWSC to speed up the repairs, saying it was unhealthy for people to fetch water from unsafe sources with the rising cases of cholera in the city.
“LWSC should quickly work on the pipes because they have not even provided other alternatives for accessing clean water during this period; so people are fetching water from unsafe sources which is not healthy especially with the cholera outbreak in Lusaka,” she said.