Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Zambia's watered down election promise

United Nations Children’s Fund estimates that about 4.8 million of Zambia's 13 million people do not have access to safe drinking water. 6.6 million people are without access to proper sanitation. Drinking river water is not a safe practice and is fraught with danger and disease and is infested with black flies, which harbour a parasite known as nematode or roundworm. When these parasites are transmitted to a human they cause River Blindness and then there is bilharzia, a tropical disease that causes one’s skin to itch. Other symptoms include diarrhoea, fever, vomiting and blood in the urine.

The Patriotic Front was elected to government in September 2011 and in the election campaign, President Michael Sata’s PF promised to provide hand pumps and community latrines to those who lacked them. The party also promised that within 90 days of the new government’s taking office, people in rural areas would have access to safe drinking water. But now, almost nine months later but many wonder if the commitment to change the lives of those living in rural Zambia will ever materialise.

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