Water is Industries, Communities - Day 2 of JoW
Our first stop was the Lusaka Water and Sewerage (LWSC) Illoaunda pump house where water extraction and distribution takes place. The #waterchampions learnt that there is a total of four pumps used in the distribution process, three that work continuously while the fourth is available for times when water levels are extremely low. Our friends from LSWC explained that by law (WARMA act) in response to climate change or impacts from industry, treated water is first distributed primarily for drinking as this is priority.
Our next stop was Nitrogen Chemicals of Zambia (NCZ) plant where we learnt the important role water plays in the day-to-day activities of NCZ which include the production of fertilizer among other products for industrial use. We were informed that NCZ gets their water directly from LWSC to the plant where it undergoes several processes of purification before they add it to the creation of fertilizer. A key process that it goes through is demineralization which takes place in a boiler and removes minerals and impurities from the water.
We were then led through a guided tour of the purification boilers. Our champions were curious as to how the chemical plant disposes off waste considering that the plant accumulates a fair amount of it. We were talked through how engineers at NCZ ensure careful disposal of all waste giving special care that nothing affects the river.
After that we took a 3km walk to the Kafue River Mall where we had a set up for the local people to be able to interact with the champions. A drumming group kept the energy levels high and mesmerised the crowd (water is entertainment?) while the champions mingled with onlookers, spreading the message of the campaign. The locals were ecstatic to meet some household names.
After lunch, we headed to our last stop for the day which was at Mapepe School where we were welcomed by our hosts, a group of excited and curious students. The #WaterChampions were split into four groups and mixed with the children for some fun, educational activities.
We got to learn directly from them about the problems they face with water. The community has three pumps and a tap, far below what is needed for their water requirements. We were moved by the story of a young woman who narrated how extremely difficult it can be to find the 5 Kwacha (about $0.5) monthly fee they pay to pump water into their containers. The pumps are open as early as 6 am and close by or before 5 pm which makes it a challenge if you need water outside of those times.
After a long and demanding day, we headed to our accommodation for some much-needed rest and dinner.