Evidence of water security as key to Economic Development: A case of Luumbo Spring in Gwembe District, Southern Province,Zambia
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Every individual needs provision of adequate affordable safe water for a healthy and productive life. The provision of this adequate safe water should be done in a way that ensures protection and enhancing of the natural habitat.This study investigates whether sustainable water supply is essential to achieving benefits that translate to household economic development. A community in Luumbo area, Gwembe District of Southern Zambia has steady supply of water from a developed spring. The study assesses the impacts of this development on the lives of the people who live in this drought prone area. The research involved collecting information through direct observations and semi structured interviews from the beneficiary households and key informants from the Department of Water Affairs (DWA) in Lusaka and Luumbo Rural Health Centre. Focus group discussions were also used to collect qualitative information. The Luumbo Spring water was sampled for quality analysis. The study reveals an increase in the economic and social status of the members of the community in terms of health, education, income generation and employment creation. Nearly all the households (14 out of 15) are benefiting from the availability of the abundant spring water for agricultural activities. The crop grown and animals reared help them earn incomes that have improved their household food security. However, the water is not properly managed because of the existence of coliforms in the water.This study concludes that availability of adequate water in Luumbo area has increased agricultural productivity and subsequently reduced the levels of poverty for the farmers and the community. There is need for regular cleaning of the mouth of the spring as well as protection of the entire spring zone. More sensitizations on water treatment methods should be done and farmer education on improved irrigation practices.
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