Zambian capital can’t quench thirst of its booming population

Monday, September 14, 2015

Dorothy Zulu's dream is to have a water tap and a small vegetable garden in her home in Ngombe, one of many slums in Zambia's capital Lusaka.

To get water Zulu, a mother of six, has to be at one of the dozens of water kiosks dotted round the dusty neighbourhood by 6 a.m.

"You have to wake up early because by 10 a.m. there is no water left," Zulu, 54, said while washing her laundry in the murky waters of a shallow stream running through Ngombe.

Zulu survives on 10 kwacha ($1) a day and, like the majority of Ngombe's 120,000 residents, spends up to a third of it on water.

"If you don't have money here you can't drink water," Zulu told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Overall, the proportion of people in Zambia with access to clean water has increased since 1990. But in urban areas it has dropped to 85 percent in 2012 from 89 percent in 1990.

Source: Reuters (link opens in a new window)

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