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Zambia: Lusaka’s water point ambassadors turn the tap to protect residents from Covid-19

26/05/2021

A water point attendant in Zambia’s capital Lusaka has a new role beyond filling up containers for residents at the community tap. John Nyambe spreads the word about the novel coronavirus – its dangers, and what residents can do to protect themselves.

The role comes with a new title too – “coronavirus prevention ambassador.” Nyambe, 71, bears the title with pride. His message was especially vital in a city with a history of inadequate sanitation and disease outbreaks.

As soon as the first cases of Covid-19 were identified in Lusaka in March 2020, the African Development Bank adjusted one of its programs to address the outbreak. The aim was to engage communities benefiting from the Lusaka Sanitation Program to keep them up to date with information on the pandemic, dispel misinformation and to distribute hygiene products.

Nyambe, who was appointed by the Lusaka Water Supply and Sanitation Company, has witnessed a difference in behaviour since the sanitation program accommodated its new mission.

“We have seen change in the community and people are now following the guidelines that have been set because they now understand that the disease is deadly and they need to take care of themselves,” said Nyambe, who also works as a security guard for a local firm.

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