SOS Children’s village in water crisis

SOS Children’s Village in Lusaka has been hit by a water shortage following the drying up of some boreholes that supply the commodity to the over 300 households and staff living on the premises.

SOS national education coordinator Rebecca Chipoya said the current water shortages being experienced around Lusaka have not spared the children’s village, forcing households to find alternative water sources.

She was speaking during the launch of Droppy, a comic character that has been introduced in the children’s education computer programme ZEdupad, an ISchool Ipad aimed at educating school children on the promotion of water-wise behaviour in school on a digital learning platform.

“This projects has come at an opportune time when even as SOS Lusaka village, our boreholes have dried up and we would like to take advantage of this occasion and appeal to stakeholders to help us sink more boreholes to help provide water to our households.

“Only three boreholes out of five were currently working and our water needs have grown with the various activities at the village with the youth centre, village houses and staff and employees resident at the facility,” she said.

She explained that SOS was involved in various family support programmes and outside in the communities which provided a wide coverage of the water-wise activities outside the school.

“We cannot even keep our surroundings green owing to the reduction in water supply at the facility, as households are given priority to grass and surroundings, we are waiting upon the rain now,” she said.

Ms Chipoya explained that the water conservation information being disseminated in the Droppy Zedupad computer programme would reach the community through the over 1880 families who belonged to the extended family strengthening support programme under SOS Lusaka.

And speaking at the same launch, Germany BGR-Federal Institute for Geoscience and Natural Resource project manager in Zambia Tobias El-Fahem said Droppy was a comic character used worldwide in various countries to sensitize communities on water protection and conservation.

Dr El-Fahem said other countries have adopted the water-wise behaviour programme to help educate the people including information on the cycle of water and the various preservation methods available to help preserve it.

“BGR is a scientific and technical organisation working in various countries and in Zambia with the Ministry of Lands, Water Development and Natural Resources on ground water management and the conservation of natural resources.

“And the children are a better channel of communication, as ambassadors to teach other children and their families and the communities on benefits of being water wise,” he said.

Three schools were involved in the pilot project to introduce Droppy into the ISchool Zedupad computer programme which are SOS school in Lusaka, Kasisi primary and Tiko School.

Education permanent secretary Professor Patrick Nkanza officiated at the function with representatives from the Ministry of Community Development, Mother and Child Health, Water Resources Management Agency (WARMA), Lusaka Water and Sewerage Company (LWSC) and the Ministry of Mines, Energy and Water Development among others.