Operation Strategy for Water Supply Service Delivery in Lusaka’s Upcoming Residential Areas. A Case of Lusaka Water and Sewerage Company

  • Bweupe Lombanya Department of Agricultural Engineering, University of Zambia
  • Joseph Mwape Chileshe Department of Agricultural Engineering, University of Zambia
Keywords: Operations Strategy, Competency, Cost, Quality, time

Abstract

Access to safe and affordable drinking water is a basic need for every human being. However, with Lusaka Province being the fastest province in Zambia, it is evident that the rapid development of upcoming residential areas as well as illegal settlements in the outskirts of the city has outplaced the installation of water supply system by the water utility company. Therefore, the main aim of this study was to assess Lusaka Water and Sewerage Company’s competitive priorities in its endeavor to provide safe and affordable water services in Lusaka’s upcoming residential areas. The research employed a non-intervention approach. Structured questionnaires and interviews were used for data collection. 30 household questionnaires were administered to households in Libala, Chalala and Obama residential areas respectively. Two water samples were collected randomly from each location and tested for quality. The findings showed that cost of drilling a residential borehole was K 17,351 with the reported minimum cost at K5000 and maximum at K75, 000. Borehole water from Chalala and Obama was found to be contaminated with total and feacal coliform bacteria. Nonetheless, piped water in Libala was found to be compliant with the World Health Organisation (WHO) standards. The residents in Libala were also generally satisfied with the water supply services, but had concerns over the high water tariffs, the late response to water problems and the elevated levels of chlorine in the water. Majority of the respondents also reported that a decentralized water supply system was an innovative idea. From the overall findings, the main operational core competency identified was the water quality. As a result, for LWSC to extend water supply to the upcoming residential areas in Lusaka, it was recommended that LWSC formulates a welldocumented operations strategy that will focus on the cost of the service and time of service delivery. These can be achieved through a well thought out and implementable capacity strategy and asset management. Capacity strategy will involve decisions on the sizing, timing, type and location of real assets or resources.
Published
2020-12-18
Section
Original Research Articles