Appoint WARMA Board For Coodinated Intervention On Underground Water Contamination

By Francis Kope

Zambian capital city Lusaka has for many years experienced floods which have posed threat on underground water.

Last week several houses collapse due to heavy down pour and hospitals such as Chipata level 1 were not spared resulting into patients transfered to other hospitals.

Apart from the Zambian government expressing regret on the development Water Resource Management Authority (WARMA) said that there is a potential threat to contamination of underground water due to boreholes being submerged, septic tanks and soak ways likely to overflow.

In as much as WARMA may give such guidance there is need to implement section 11 of Act number 21 of 2011 which states on the constitution of the board for the Authority.

The Act states:

11. (1) There is hereby constituted a Board for authority which shall consist of
(a) four persons with expertise in environmental management, hydro power, engineering;commerce and Industry.

(b) one person each from the following groups:
(i) farmers,
(ii)traditional authorities; and
(iii) consumers,

(c) representative of the Attorney-General;
(d) one representative each of the Ministries responsible for Water Resources, Local Government, Agriculture and the Environment.

(e) the Commissioner of Lands and
(f) one other person.

(2) The Minister shall appoint members of the Board,

(3) The Minister shall appoint the Chairperson and Vice Chairperson of the board from amongst the members referred to in subsection (1), except that a public officer shall not be appointed Chairperson.

Now this mammoth task cannot be shouldered by individuals who have been acting such as the Director General and Board Secretary for more than two years without a contract.

And it is a testimony of breach of Act 21 of 2011.

Further more, if government considers WARMA as an important government institution in the conservation, protection and preservation of water resource and it’s ecosystems, it is only prudent to appoint the Board the soonest as prescribed in section 11 of Act number 21 of 2011 and Director General given a contract.

I urge government to consider this matter urgently looking at the expertise of the board as prescribed in the WARMA Act 21 of 2011 for such will work to the benefit of the country and it’s citizenry.

Failure to do so would result in Management lapses and uncoordinated intervention on the current expected floods with it’s effect in Lusaka and other areas.

Issued by
Francis Kope
Social and Economic Commentator