Germany hosts High-Level Meeting on Importance of Groundwater Protection for Prevention of future Cholera Outbreaks
Enlarge image Ambassador Burkart with Minister for Health, Hon. Chilufya, & Minister for Water, Hon. Wanchinga (© German Embassy Lusaka) His Excellency, the German Ambassador, Mr. Achim Burkart had the honor to welcome the Minister of Health, Honorable Dr. Chitalu Chilufya and the Minister of Water Development, Sanitation and Environmental Protection, Honorable Dr. Dennis Wanchinga as well as the respective Permanent Secretaries, representatives of the donor community and involved government bodies to a high-level breakfast meeting to discuss the importance of groundwater protection for prevention of future cholera outbreaks in Lusaka.
Enlarge image BGR Project Manager Tobias El-Fahem (© German Embassy Lusaka) The German Federal Institute for Geoscience and Resources (BGR) gave an insightful presentation, which pointed at groundwater as the major source of fresh water supply with around 70% of Lusaka’s population being fully or partly dependent on it. In the absence of any other viable alternative, groundwater protection is paramount to ensure effective conservation of this precious resource for human and economic development as well as prevention of disease outbreaks as has been seen in the recent case of cholera.
In his opening remarks, Ambassador Burkart stressed: “A future without cholera is possible - all the ‘keys’ to solve the cholera problem are already in our hands. What we need now is a long-term strategy against cholera in Lusaka. […] By 2030 everybody should have access to clean and safe water. In order for Zambia to achieve this, we need to look at long term strategies to protect the water resource. Groundwater provides a safe and affordable way of water provision in the city of Lusaka -but again: only if we protect this resource!”.
Enlarge image Press conference (© German Embassy Lusaka) Honourable Minster Wanchinga highlighted the levels of intervention for the Ministry of Water Development, Sanitation and Environmental Protection, which includes the protection of freshwater sources and the proper management of solid waste.
Honorable Minister Chilufya thanked the German Government for the opportunity to discuss this relevant topic and reaffirmed his Government’s commitment to invest in universal access to clean and safe water for the Zambian people. Furthermore, he emphasized the role of the involved ministries to coordinate a multi-sectoral approach to address this urgent issue.