Suspected damming by farmers dries up Chongwe river The people of Chongwe are facing erratic water supply because Chongwe river has dried up due to suspect damming by farmers.
According to Lusaka Water and Sewerage Public Relations Officer Topsy Sikainda, the people of Chongwe have had little or no water for the past three days because their only source of water, Chongwe river, has dried up.
Sikainda explained that the suction pump could only work if water levels in the river were at least one meter deep but currently the deepest water level on the river was 20 centimeters .
“The situation in Chongwe is that the river has dried up and there is no water coming up stream. It is suspected that there is a lot of damming and all the water is trapped out of the river and creating this shortage of raw water for the treatment plant,” Sikalinda said.
Sikalinda said it was normal for water levels in boreholes and and rivers to dry up but this year Chongwe had hit extremes because of the suspected damming in addition to the late rains.
He said LWSC was working closely with DMMU, transporting water from Lusaka to Chongwe to supply the residents with water.
Meanwhile Pemimu Private School Manager Mirriam Musonda said the water shortage had put the school at risk of waterborne diseases.
“You know water is life and we need water to keep our surroundings clean. Right now we are experiencing low water pressure in the morning between 08:00hrs to 09:00hrs when we usually fill the drums so it is not enough,” Musonda said.
The school children have also expressed concern as they have resorted to using the nearest hand pump which is 500 meters away from the school.
“We now have to leave school and walk through this thicket which is dangerous and tiring to get water. Something has to be done and it has to be done quick,” said Tionge Tembo.
Chongwe treatment plant has a capacity to treat 7200 cubic meters of water per day. Currently 60 percent of the production capacity is being utilized as this is what the present demand requires.