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May 30, 2018

Water for former refugee integration
- Handover ceremony of borehole pipes in Meheba Resettlement Scheme -

PhotoGroup photo: Kalumbila Disctirct Commissioner, Council Secretary of Kalumbila Town Council, Director of Department of Resettlement, Senior Representative of JICA Zambia office, AAR Japan and Self help groups

The handover ceremony of the water pipes for the 64 boreholes was held at Meheba Resettlement Scheme in Kalumbila District, North-Western Province on the 30th of May 2018.

Mr. Banda, Director in Department of Resettlement (DoR) of Office of the Vice President, Mr. Kalota, District Commissioner for Kalumbila District, Dr. Fujiie, Senior Representative of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Zambia Office and Ms. Mwanza, Council Secretary for Kalumbila Town Council attended the ceremony.

Zambia has been hosting refugees from neighboring countries since 1960s and throughout the liberation wars to independence. In 2014, Ministry of Home Affaires of Zambia has started local integration programme for around 14,000 former Angolan refugees and around 3,300 former Rwandan refugees who are unwilling to return to their countries of origin, with a support of UNHCR. In 2017, the socio-economic component of the local integration programme was being taken over by the DoR with support from the UNDP under the Sustainable Resettlement Programme.

The Government of Japan has been supporting Zambia's efforts of refugee responses and local Integration of former refugees through the provision of funds to UNHCR and other UN agencies since 2013. JICA has dispatched a local Integration Adviser to DoR since May 2017, in an effort to enhance its capacity in terms of planning and implementation of former refugee integration programme. JICA is further supporting capacity building of self-help group for water and sanitation in Meheba Resettlement Scheme aiming at making community cohesion, in collaboration with Association of Aid Relief Japan (AAR Japan).

Through AAR Japan's activities in Meheba, it was discovered that one of the most common concern among residents was low quality of water from the boreholes caused by high iron content. Residents were taking long hours to fetch drinking water. It was further observed that the iron content was contaminated from corroded galvanized iron (GI) pipes. In this vein, to solve the problem and ensure basic human needs of residents, JICA procured corrosion-resistant Unplastisized polyvinyl Chloride (U-PVC) pipes for the 64 boreholes and started replacement of GI pipes with them through AAR Japan.

PhotoCorrosion of GI pipe (photo: AAR Japan)

PhotoInstallation of corrosion-resistant U-PVC pipes (photo: AAR Japan)

During the handover ceremony, Mr. Banda expressed his appreciation to JICA and AAR Japan for improving the water quality in Meheba Resettlement Scheme and emphasized the importance of accessing to clean drinking water. He also said that JICA's supports through the self-help groups promote ownership of the community. Ms. Mwanza mentioned Kalumbila Town Council will make sure that water points be sustained through the council and water point management committees. She also appreciated that JICA's supports have contributed job creation through training of pump menders. Mr. Kalota pointed out that the handing over of pipes is timely given the community's concern in iron contents of water and said that the District is on course in achieving the Sustainable Development Goal 6 "clean water and sanitation".

During site visit of the water point management with the participants of the ceremony, Mr. Naoe of AAR Japan explained their activities and positive impact of replacement in water quality has already been observed in some of the boreholes through changing GI pipes to U-PVC pipes.

PhotoMr. Naoe from AAR Japan explained their activities to participants of the ceremony.

PhotoAAR Japan and APM are replacing U-PVC pipe.

PhotoAfter installing U-PVC pipes, it is observed the change in quality of water, Plot number 541 (photo: AAR Japan)

Dr. Fujiie of JICA mentioned in his speech that it is hoped that well-being of former refugees and Zambians in Meheba be improved and communities' solidarity further be strengthened through improved water quality in boreholes by enhancing community participation activities with a continuous support of DoR and Kalumbila District.


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