WARMA reg­is­ters low com­pli­ance in bore­hole regis­tra­tion ex­er­cise

Zambian Business Times - - BUSINESS REVIEW -

THE Wa­ter Re­sources Man­age­ment Au­thor­ity says it has reg­is­tered low com­pli­ance lev­els in im­ple­ment­ing the bore­hole regis­tra­tion reg­u­la­tion. As a reg­u­la­tor, WARMA is charged with the re­spon­si­bil­ity of manag­ing and reg­u­lat­ing the use of Zam­bia’s wa­ter re­sources in an in­te­grated, par­tic­i­pa­tory and sus­tain­able man­ner based on hu­man, land, en­vi­ron­men­tal and so­cio-eco­nomic con­sid­er­a­tions. The reg­u­la­tor has raised about K325,000 in bore­hole regis­tra­tion and ac­com­pa­ny­ing fees for un­der­ground wa­ter qual­ity main­te­nance since the reg­u­la­tion came into ef­fect. In an exclusive in­ter­view with the Zambian Busi­ness Times, WARMA di­rec­tor gen­eral Lemmy Na­mayanga said some sec­tions of so­ci­ety were re­spond­ing well re­gard­ing com­pli­ance with the reg­u­la­tion. He stressed that the K250 bore­hole regis­tra­tion fee is not a tax but in­stead a reg­u­la­tory fee to help man­age the qual­ity of ground wa­ter re­sources. Na­mayanga said that the fee is not even suf­fi­cient be­cause the ad­min­is­tra­tive bud­get of un­der­ground wa­ter reg­u­la­tion is higher than what the au­thor­ity is re­ceiv­ing. “We are cre­at­ing a na­tional bore­hole data­base and at the mo­ment 18,000 bore­holes have been im­puted into the data­base. Go­ing for­ward, we have asked the drillers to col­lect wa­ter sam­ples on our be­half so we know the qual­ity of wa­ter that is un­der­ground in a given lo­cal­ity in Zam­bia. That is why the K250 fee has been put up con­sid­er­ing that ad­min­is­tra­tive costs to main­tain the un­der­ground wa­ter qual­ity are high,” he said. Asked about WARMA’s con­tri­bu­tion to the na­tional trea­sury, Na­mayanga said a re­quest was sent in from the min­is­ter but could not be hon­ored for now as the au­thor­ity had not col­lected enough in terms of fees. Na­mayanga dis­closed that the min­istry had fur­ther asked the au­thor­ity to con­sider ex­tend­ing the dead­line for bore­hole regis­tra­tion, which is sched­uled for Septem­ber 30, 2018. “The chal­lenge is on do­mes­tic bore­holes. We are manag­ing well and are col­lect­ing fees for most of the com­mer­cial bore­hole users,” he said. Ya­manana fur­ther ad­vised com­mu­ni­ties to con­sid­ered com­ing to­gether and hav­ing just one bore­hole drilled for them to share among a small num­ber of houses as this would be less costly and the best way to se­cure ground wa­ter. The di­rec­tor gen­eral said WARMA has in­spec­tors is to en­sure com­pli­ance and mea­sures have been put in place for those who do not reg­is­ter. Non-com­pli­ant bore­hole own­ers face a charge of K30,000 or im­pris­on­ment of not less than 2 years. Na­mayanga said this is not to scare residents but is there for their own ben­e­fit as un­der­ground wa­ter qual­ity is key for pub­lic health. Na­mayanga ex­pressed con­cern with the build­ing of houses on spaces and wa­ter catch­ment ar­eas say­ing such spaces were left out as ‘recharge zones’ to help col­lect large quan­ti­ties of wa­ter into the ground for main­tain­ing a good wa­ter ta­ble. Ac­cord­ing to the Wa­ter Act of 2011, WARMA is an au­thor­ity whose main func­tion is “to pro­mote and adopt a dy­namic, gen­der-sen­si­tive, in­te­grated, in­ter­ac­tive, par­tic­i­pa­tory and multi-sec­toral ap­proach to wa­ter re­sources man­age­ment and de­vel­op­ment that in­cludes hu­man, land, en­vi­ron­men­tal and so­cio-eco­nomic con­sid­er­a­tions, es­pe­cially poverty re­duc­tion and the elim­i­na­tion of wa­ter borne dis­eases, in­clud­ing malaria.”

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