On Tuesday 7th February, 2019, Live Clean officially opened their public toilets in Lusaka’s Buseko Market. This marks another important step towards improving health, community wellbeing, and a clean environment in Lusaka by providing access to clean, hygienic and safe public toilets. Live Clean is developed with the support of the UK Department for International Development through Kukula Seed and Zambian entrepreneur Mwila Lwando.
There is an urgent need to improve the existing conditions of public sanitation in Zambia. Currently, 70% of groundwater in urban Zambia is contaminated and more than 500 people die every year from diseases related to poor sanitation. The use of properly maintained and designed toilets reduces the risk of contamination and reduces the spread of water-borne diseases such as cholera.
Live Clean is an award-winning Zambian social enterprise and 2019 Toilet Board Coalition acceleratee that develops and operates clean, hygienic and affordable public, fee-paying toilets and shower facilities in peri-urban areas of Zambia.
The toilets are constructed from customised modular containers. The facilities are designed to have minimal environmental impact. The site infrastructure at Live Clean is designed to be able to convert solid waste from the toilets into bio-fuel and fertiliser. Water used in the showers and basins is recycled for use in the toilets and rainwater harvested as clean water during the rain season.
The guest of honour at the opening was Hon. Mr. Vincent Mwale, Minister of Local Government. Also present was His Worship Mr. Miles Sampa, Mayor of Lusaka; The Honourable Mr. Kaziya, Member of Parliament for Matero Constituency and Mr. Steve Beel, Head of Economic Development at DFID Zambia.
“The opening of these facilities could not be more pressing after the last bout of cholera in Lusaka,” says Mwila Lwando of Live Clean. He explains that “the facilities are not only a much cleaner alternative to existing facilities, but they are also constructed to improve the environmental impact of sanitation using a closed loop strategy and special waste tanks.”
Steve Beel of DFID Zambia says, “The UK Government is very pleased to have invested in this private sector model that provides affordable and high quality water and sanitation facilities for thousands of people in Lusaka. This is further evidence of how our investment partnership with Kukula Seed is delivering widespread impact including in water and sanitation, nutrition and environmental protection. We look forward to working with the Ministry of Local Government and Lusaka City Council to rapidly roll out this sustainable and scalable approach across the city so that many more can benefit”.
At the opening ceremony His Worship Mr. Miles Sampa, Mayor of Lusaka said in his speech “Lusaka City Council is committed to creating a clean city and much hard work is being done in this regard. A collaboration with the private sector for projects like this means that we can do more good faster. By working together we can combine our resources and create great results”.
This was echoed in the speech of the guest of honor Mr. Vincent Mwale, Minister of Local Government saying “As Government we are very committed to consistently improve the living standard of people in Zambia. A corner stone in this commitment is to have clean cities with good sanitation infrastructure In order to create an environment in which people can thrive”. The Minister further said in his speech: “I hereby declare that my Ministry and the Municipalities under it, will work positively and efficiently with Live Clean in an effort to create as many new sites especially in Lusaka to mitigate any Cholera outbreaks.”
Honorable Kaziya, Member of Parliament for Matero Constituency thanked the Live Clean team during her tour for their positive contribution to the area.
Niels Bojsen, Director of Kukula Seed and partner in Live Clean mentions that “Another important aspect of the Live Clean project is to further the empowerment of women in Zambia by providing modern, safe guarded sanitation facilities that offer an easier, cleaner, and safer alternative to pit latrines and makeshift holes.”