After two days of non-stop engagement, you would be forgiven for thinking our #waterchampions were completely worn out come the final day of the walk, but these guys had energy like you have never seen before!
Our first stop on Day3 was Kudu Farm, one of the largest emerging commercial farms in Zambia, to understand the immeasurable value of water in Agriculture. A rep from the farm took us through their water supply process, where they source the commodity and how pivotal irrigation is in determining crop yields for the farm. We were given an opportunity to tour (and marvel) at the green fields of wheat (which is the main crop grown). We learnt that wheat is such a water-intensive crop that the farm installed an irrigation machine that dispenses water at 55 litres per second! The rep informed us that the farm has seen many changes in the past 20 years in its water levels; highlighting increasing difficulties in accessing water. Our champions were told that before, one had to drill only 6 meters into the ground to find water on the farm, whereas now they have to drill up to 40 meters to access the first drop.
After lunch the #WaterChampions were going live on social media talking about their experiences so far and inviting their followers to the final walk that was going to take place later in the day.
Our next stop was Misisi compound in Lusaka, where we went to learn more about how communities access water. We were given a tour of some water kiosks, where the community get their daily water needs. There is a total of 45 kiosks that services Misisi Compound and Lusaka Water and Sewerage Company (LWSC) has plans to build more to meet the demand.
“Water is a human right, so we are making it accessible for all” – Mr Sichone, Lusaka Water and Sewerage Company (LWSC).
He explained that there was a 10 ngwee charge for a 20-litre container of water. The kiosks are open from 06hrs to 10hrs in the morning and 14hrs to 18hrs in the afternoon, this means access to water is limited to those times alone for the entire community. This also means people queue really early to collect water for daily usage.
Our #WaterChampions concluded their visit to this stop by donating 20-litre containers of water to the local community, as a gesture of goodwill and a reminder that #WaterIsLivelihoods and #WaterIsEverybodysBusiness.
After lunch, we headed to LWSC Stuart Park Distribution Centre. We learnt how water from Kafue reaches the centre, is re-chlorinated and distributed to different parts of Lusaka. A total of 480 million litres of water is consumed in Lusaka and that number only accounts for peri-urban areas where demand is increasing daily.
In response to queries from our #WaterChampions, a Senior Engineer explained how the facility’s leak detection system helps identify leakages thereby reducing water wastage and saving consumers money. We were also informed that LWSC continuously sensitises the public on the need to save water and was happy that the journey of water campaign was augmenting their efforts.
It was a sombre yet exciting atmosphere as we headed to Friday’s Corner in Kalingalinga to embark on the final stretch of the 3-day walk. Upon arrival, we were greeted by cheering crowds who had been waiting anxiously to catch a glimpse of the #WaterChampions and join us for the rest of the walk to East Park Mall. Water champion Victor ‘Kabova’ Chaushi led us all with a medley of songs and jokes that kept everyone’s energy up on the 45-minute walk to East Park Mall. The champions were cheered upon arrival, welcomed by the MC of the night and a dance troupe.
Our special guest for the evening was Bishop Dr Edward Chomba who gave a great speech and inspired the audience before proceeding to the stage with WWF Zambia’s Mr Mwape Sichilongo where they handed certificates to the #waterchampions in special recognition of their commitment towards this incredible achievement.
James Sakala, Kantu Siachingili, Wezi Mhone, and Maureen Lilanda all stepped on the stage during the celebration to wow the crowd with their hit songs. The crowd sang and danced for hours before it was time to pack up the stage and say good bye.
The three days spent on this incredible journey were unbelievably educating for everyone involved and truly highlighted that ‘Water Doesn’t come from the tap’. While the walk is done and the campaign is officially over, it is clear to everyone that our work to influence a generation of responsible water stewards has only just began.