Minister Announces Shutdown of Iolanda 1 Water Treatment Plant for Urgent Repairs

In a ministerial statement delivered today, the Honourable Mike E. Mposha, Minister of Water Development and Sanitation, announced a planned shutdown of the Iolanda 1 Water Treatment Plant in Kafue District. The shutdown is essential to facilitate the repair works on the main transmission pipeline supplying water to Lusaka, Zambia’s capital.

The Aging Pipeline and Urgent Repairs

Minister Mposha began his statement by explaining that one of the two pipelines supplying water to Lusaka, constructed in 1970, had reached the end of its useful life. This aging pipeline, which plays a critical role in providing water to the city, has developed a serious leakage at a critical joint, specifically the first bend from the treatment plant in Kafue District.

To prevent a potential catastrophic failure of this vital pipeline, the Lusaka Water Supply and Sanitation Company, with support from the Ministry of Water Development and Sanitation, is undertaking emergency major repairs to address the leakage issue promptly.

Shutdown Details and Impact on Water Supply

The repairs are set to be carried out in-house by the Lusaka Water Supply and Sanitation Company. However, to ensure the effectiveness of the repair work, the Iolanda 1 Water Treatment Plant and the pipeline will be shut down for a period not exceeding sixty days, commencing on September 14, 2023.

Minister Mposha stressed that the shutdown is necessary to allow the concrete used in the repair work to cure and reach its full strength, preventing premature failure.

During this period, residents of Lusaka are advised to make arrangements to store an adequate supply of water, as there will be stress on the city’s water supply. Mitigation measures will be put in place, including water rationing and the delivery of water supply by water bowsers to some parts of the city.

Prioritizing Critical Facilities

The Minister assured the House that critical facilities, such as hospitals, will be prioritized to ensure continuous water supply during the repair period. The Ministry will closely monitor the repair work and provide the necessary support to ensure timely completion and the resumption of normal water supply.

Request for Support and Site Visit

Minister Mposha concluded his statement by requesting the support of Honourable Members of the House from Lusaka District. He invited them to accompany him on a visit to the Naboye leak site to better understand the nature and magnitude of the problem and assist in disseminating information to their constituencies about the impending water supply challenges.

Commitment to Providing Access to Clean Water

In his closing remarks, Minister Mposha reaffirmed the commitment of the UPND New Dawn Government to providing universal access to clean and safe water in line with Sustainable Development Goal 6 and Vision 2030. He emphasized the critical role of water in ensuring public health, improving livelihoods, and promoting human dignity.

The shutdown of the Iolanda 1 Water Treatment Plant, while posing temporary challenges, is a necessary step towards ensuring the long-term sustainability of Lusaka’s water supply system and the well-being of its residents.

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