PRESS STATEMENT ON THE EXTENSION OF THE DEADLINE FOR REGISTRATION OF BOREHOLES

MINISTRY OF WATER DEVELOPMENT, SANITATION AND ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION

PRESS STATEMENT

EXTENSION OF THE DEADLINE FOR REGISTRATION OF BOREHOLES – 2nd May, 2019

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN

I WISH TO WELCOME YOU TO THE MINISTRY OF WATER DEVELOPMENT, SANITATION AND ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION FOR THIS PRESS BRIEFING.

AS YOU ARE AWARE, IN 2018 THE GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF ZAMBIA THROUGH THE WATER RESOURCES MANAGEMENT AUTHORITY (WARMA) UNDER THE MINISTRY OF WATER DEVELOPMENT, SANITATION AND ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION ISSUED THREE (3) STATUTORY INSTRUMENTS NAMELY STATUTORY INSTRUMENT NUMBER 18, 19 AND 20 IN LINE WITH THE WATER RESOURCES MANAGEMENT ACT NUMBER 21 OF 2011.

THE WATER RESOURCES MANAGEMENT ACT PROVIDES FOR INTER ALIA THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE WATER RESOURCES MANAGEMENT AUTHORITY AS WELL AS FOR THE MANAGEMENT, DEVELOPMENT, CONSERVATION, PROTECTION AND PRESERVATION OF THE WATER RESOURCES AND ITS ECOSYSTEMS.

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN

IT IS AGAINST THIS BACKGROUND THAT STATUTORY INSTRUMENT NUMBER 20 WHICH PROVIDES AMONG OTHERS FOR THE REGISTRATION OF EXISTING BOREHOLES AND FOR APPLICATION TO DRILL NEW BOREHOLES WAS ISSUED IN ORDER TO ENSURE SUSTAINABLE USE OF GROUNDWATER RESOURCES IN ZAMBIA.

I WISH TO INFORM THE NATION THAT FOLLOWING THE COMMENCEMENT OF REGISTRATION OF BOREHOLES BY THE WATER RESOURCES MANAGEMENT AUTHORITY IN 2018, SO FAR 27,287 BOREHOLES ACROSS THE COUNTRY HAVE BEEN REGISTERED AND ADDED TO THE DATABASE.

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN

AS YOU WILL RECALL, THE DEADLINE FOR REGISTRATION OF EXISTING BOREHOLES ENDED ON THE 31ST MARCH 2019. HOWEVER, FOLLOWING EXTENSIVE CONSULTATIONS WITH KEY STAKEHOLDERS AND MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC, THE MINISTRY OF WATER DEVELOPMENT, SANITATION AND ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION WISH TO INFORM THE GENERAL PUBLIC THAT THE DEADLINE FOR REGISTRATION OF EXISTING BOREHOLES HAS BEEN EXTENDED FORTHWITH FOR A PERIOD OF NINE MONTHS EFFECTIVE FROM THE 31ST MARCH, 2019 TO 31ST DECEMBER, 2019.

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN

ALLOW ME TO STATE THAT THE EXTENSION HAS BEEN NECESSITATED TO ENABLE THE MINISTRY THROUGH WARMA TO REACH OUT TO A NUMBER OF PEOPLE WHO ARE STILL NOT AWARE OF THE STATUTORY INSTRUMENT AND THE REQUIREMENT FOR THE REGISTRATION OF EXISTING BOREHOLES.

CONSEQUENTLY, THE MINISTRY, WORKING WITH WARMA AND OTHER STAKEHOLDERS HAVE SINCE WORKED OUT MEASURES AIMED AT HEIGHTENING THE SENSITIZATION ABOUT THE REQUIREMENT FOR REGISTRATION OF BOREHOLES.

SOME OF THE MEASURES INCLUDE INTENSIFYING PUBLIC AWARENESS THROUGH VARIOUS PLATFORMS INCLUDING RADIO AND TELEVISION AND OTHER MEDIA, DEVELOPMENT AND OPERATIONALIZATION OF THE ONLINE REGISTRATION SYSTEM BY WARMA WHICH HAS SO FAR SEEN 896 REGISTRATIONS AND THE INVOLVEMENT OF ALL THE PROVINCIAL STAFF UNDER THE MINISTRY OF WATER DEVELOPMENT, SANITATION AND ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION.

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN

I WISH TO THANK THE GENERAL PUBLIC FOR OVERWHELMINGLY COMPLYING WITH THE REQUIREMENT FOR REGISTRATION OF THEIR BOREHOLES AND UNDERSTANDING ITS ESSENCE.  HOWEVER, I WISH TO HASTEN TO MENTION THAT THE MINISTRY WILL NOT EXTEND THE REGISTRATION EXERCISE BEYOND THE 30TH SEPTEMBER 2019 AND THAT FAILURE TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THIS GRACE PERIOD WILL ATTRACT HEAVY PENALTIES AS PRESCRIBED BY THE LAW.

 

THIS IS BECAUSE, AS YOU WILL RECALL, THIS EXTENSION COMES AFTER THE FIRST ONE WAS MADE WHICH CAME TO AN END ON 31ST MARCH, 2019.

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN

AT THIS JUNCTURE ALLOW ME TO TAKE THIS OPPORTUNITY TO DISPEL MISLEADING STATEMENTS COMING FROM A NUMBER OF DETRACTORS, SUCH AS SOME POLITICAL LEADERS TO THE EFFECT THAT GOVERNMENT IS TAXING CITIZENS FOR SINKING BOREHOLES.

THE PAYMENT OF K250.00 IS SIMPLY A REGISTRATION FEE FOR THE SINKING OF A BOREHOLE. IT IS A ONE-OFF PAYMENT MEANT TO ASSIST IN THE REGULATION OF INDISCRIMINATE ABSTRACTION OF GROUNDWATER, IN ORDER TO ENSURE SUSTAINABLE MANAGEMENT AND DEVELOPMENT OF WATER RESOURCES TO BENEFIT ALL ZAMBIANS. IT IS SIMILAR TO THE ONE-OFF ENTRY PAYMENT ONE MAKES WHEN VISITING A NATIONAL PARK WHICH HELPS IN MAINTAINING THE RESOURCES IN THAT PARK.

ARISING FROM THIS MEASURE, THE MINISTRY HAS SINCE NOTED THAT SANITY HAS BEEN BROUGHT IN THE DRILLING OF BOREHOLES AS MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC ARE NO LONGER SUBJECTED TO SUB-STANDARD BOREHOLES BECAUSE OF THE STANDARDS THAT DRILLERS HAVE TO MEET, WHICH ARE PRESCRIBED IN THE LAW.

I WISH TO APPEAL TO THE WELL-MEANING PEOPLE OF ZAMBIA TO SUPPORT THIS LAW AS IT IS MEANT TO SAFEGUARD THEIR WATER RESOURCES AS WELL AS TO PROTECT THEIR INTEREST.

I THANK YOU.

 

HON. DR. DENNIS M. WANCHINGA, MP

MINISTER