Ndola women protest

 

NDOLA residents yesterday stormed Kafubu Water and Sewerage Company head office, protesting over the poor quality of water the utility company is supplying. The women, who marched to the utility company’s offices from several townships, carried plastic containers of green, brackish, smelly water which they wanted to show to managing director Athanasius Mwaba. And Bwana Mkubwa Member of Parliament Dr. Jonas Chanda has threatened legal action against the utility company if it does not improve the quality of water provided to its consumers. The angry residents mostly from Bwana Mkubwa constituency stormed the utility company over prolonged greenish water being supplied to households which they said was a serious health hazard. The angry women who chanted slogans, demanded to see the managing director. “We want to see your MD! Why are you refusing to let us to talk to him? You can’t be telling us that he is in a meeting. That meeting is not more important than our problems. ‘‘You employ engineers that do nothing to rectify the problem. Over the years we have been assured that service will be improved; we have suffered and it’s enough,” they lamented. Company public relations manager Fales Mwanza made efforts to quench the hot tempers of the residents but had

difficulties to explain as they forced their way into the building. “Every month you bring bills for this green coloured water. We want your boss to see this green water. This water is not safe,” another resident said. Later, Ms Mwanza succumbed to pressure and allowed the residents to go in the managing

director’s office. She pleaded with the residents to be calm as she ushered them into the office of the managing director. And the managing director Mr Mwaba told the residents that he would write off this month’s water bill due to the problem presented to him. Mr. Mwaba said the company would only charge the affected people sewerage fees. “I can write off the water bill due to this problem, that I can do, as it is within my power,” he said. ‘‘The one month what I will give as a rebate is more than the period that you are going to be using water from other sources; it will not take long within a day or two even by Thursday or Friday it will be done. ‘‘However, for the bills I cannot follow the days; I have got to follow the months,” he said. Meanwhile, Member of Parliament for the affected areas expressed disappointment at what he termed  ‘‘dangerously contaminated’’ water being provided by Kafubu Water and Sewerage Company to his constituents. Dr. Chanda said in a statement released by his personal assistant Stephen Nyendwa that for a long time the residents in Itawa, Ndeke, Mushili and other townships have been subjected to  dirty, green and smelly water. He said Kafubu Water management should know that the dirty water they were making residents consume was a health hazard which could lead to outbreak of various skin and diarrhoeal diseases or result in the loss of life. “I am also reporting Kafubu Water and Sewerage Company to the Minister of Water, Sanitation and Environmental Protection to intervene and bring sanity at Kafubu Water and Sewerage Company whose services are pathetic and life threatening. ‘‘Residents in the affected areas have now resorted to drawing water from other places because they cannot use the water for drinking, bathing or cooking,’’ he said. Dr Chanda said what annoyed residents was that Kafubu Water continued to send water bills to householders despite the impure water they were providing to residents. ‘‘Kafubu Water should know that they will be held responsible for any diarrhoeal and skin diseases that may break out among our people and they will have to pay legal costs and damages to the affected people. ‘‘The people will have no choice but to commence legal action against the company,” he said.

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