UNICEF brings safe drinking water sources closer to the people
In Limulunga District of Zambia access to water source is having a positive impact in the communities contributing to improve food security
Limulunga District, Zambia, March 2023 – “I am very happy to have access to clean and adequate water very close to my backyard. I now spend more time working on the maize and cassava field,” says Frida Likanda (59), resident of Mwene-Milumbu village in Limulunga district.
This district in Western province of Zambia has a population of 61,102 and is located nearly 15 kilometers in north of Mongu, the provincial capital. Like other rural districts of Zambia, Limulunga is also challenged with inadequate social amenities such as water supply, with a large percentage of population lacking access to a basic water source.
“I used to walk for more than a kilometer only to draw 10 liters of contaminated water. You see, I am almost 60 years old and by the time I returned with the water, I had no energy left to attend to other activities such as cultivating maize, rice, and vegetable gardening. Apart from that, much time was lost in drawing water especially in the dry season. The hand-dug wells would run dry and sometimes we had to wait for more than three hours for the wells to fill-up, so we could draw water,” she adds.
“I used to walk for more than a kilometer only to draw 10 liters of contaminated water. Having clean water source close to home is a relief as the children don’t fall sick anymore and we are able to save and spend the same time and money on other things.”
The UNICEF funded water project in Limulunga has not only improved the conditions for Frida and her family but also 11 other communities in the district. With easy access to basic water sources the people of these communities have more time to engage in life-improving activities. Knowing that safe and clean water is just by the doorstep, Frida and her neighbors are now able to start the farming activities early in the morning.
Earlier, community members would spend hours traveling long distances to fetch water, that was not even safe for the household use. Now, having access to safe water, food security has improved and they can spend the same time to farm and grow vegetables and crops.
“My grandchildren who are under five years would frequently suffer from diarrhea. Most of our time and the savings were eventually spent going to the health facility and on treatment. Having clean water source is a relief as the children don’t fall sick anymore and we are able to save and spend the same money on other things. My worry has reduced manifold, as on days when I return home tired after farming, I feel confident in asking my elder grandchild to fetch the water as it is easy to reach,” shares Frida.
In communities like Mwene-Milumbu, the responsibility of fetching water mostly lies with the women and young children, thus being the most affected group in situations where access to safe water source is a challenge. Many children in the process end up missing the school and time to learn and play. UNICEF is committed in its support to the Government of Zambia to make the future of the every child in Zambia water-secure, and ensuring that they have time and opportunity to learn at school, play and live healthy lives.