Access to clean and safe drinking water is one of the basic needs of rural communities. Even where attempts have been made to supply communities with water, there can still be problems. The MAKE Project helped highlight one such problem in Mundale.
The community was left with a big challenge after the closure of their water point by the local environmental health technician. Despite the borehole being sited by experts, it appeared that no attention had been paid to the fact that it was only 30 meters away from a pit latrine! Consequently the water from this water point was found to contain impurities that would cause danger to human life. The Chikuni Mission Hospital Environmental Health Technician Mr. Mulenga, had no choice, but to close the hand pump in order to save lives of people of Mundale community. This matter was raised after a public health debate on Chikuni Radio station on the platform program.
Ms Angelina Maluma, one of the Mundale community members, reported:
"This was a big oversight on the part of the people siting this Borehole because the toilet was in place first. Closing the water point has left Mundale community with limited access to water. People now have to walk long distances to go and fetch water- two Kilometers away from their homes. Some have started to hire wheelbarrows, at a fee, to ferry water".
Since bringing the problem to the public's attention, Ms Maluma has hopes that soon another safe water point will be found with the help of their area councilor, Mr.T. Mwanakalanga. She believes that local people's participation in community projects would help in reducing waste of resources as the case in Mundale community.
Mundale resident, Ms maluma, believes that it is not just a matter of having access to water, but access to clean, safe water, that is important