The effectiveness of AHC-MMS in the provision of domestic water supply to low cost Mine Township: A case study of Chibwe Township in Chingola

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Zulu, Enock
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Water is essential to all, as basic daily human needs of life. It is important that people have access to enable them survive. The importance of water as a basic need cannot be over emphasized. Zambia has the largest water resources in southern Africa covering 63% of the entire water resource and yet 38% of its total population in urban areas and 55% in rural areas have no access to domestic water (Chibwe, Kambole and Nyambe 2002). To enable accessibility of domestic water supply, the Zambian government has embarked on an on commercialization of the water sector. Four commercial utility companies have been formed on the Copperbelt and these are Mulonga, Kafubu, Nkana and Assets holding company mining municipal services (AHC-MMS). Of these AHC-MMS provides domestic water to the mine township only.Ever since its inception (AHC-MMS) several changes have been established in the provision of domestic water supply to mine townships. Among the changes that AHC-MMS has introduced are those of water tariffs and maintenance works. Initially water use to be a free commodity and all maintenance works were done by Zambia Consolidated Copper Mine (ZCCM). After the privatization of the copper mines the investors had no interest in the provision of domestic water supply. AHC-MMS was formed to provide domestic water to the mine townships.Both scheduled and non-scheduled techniques were used in the collection of data. 51 respondents out off 66 successfully returned the questionnaires. AHC-MMS' Operational Engineer was interview using the non-scheduled techniques. The researcher did observations of the study area. Generally the study revealed that there is inconsistency in the provision of domestic water and AHC-MMS does not respond within 24 hours to reported maintenance work despite of having revenue efficiency of 75% in Chibwe Township. Furthermore the study revealed that most of the infrastructures are in bad condition and the commercial utility company is in the process of replacing the old pipes, valves and tap among other infrastructures. AHC-MMS hope to improve the effectiveness of the provision of domestic water supply once the rehabilitation work is completed by the year 2005.