Chief Macha of the Tonga speaking people in Southern Province has scooped an African Sanitation Leadership Award in South Africa.
The award follows the traditional leader’s outstanding commitment to promoting good sanitary standards in his chiefdom. The event took place during the Second African Week Conference on Sanitation at Gallagher Convention Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa. Chief Macha attended the conference and received the award.
And Zambia’s High Commissioner to South Africa Leslie Mbula has commended the Chief for being the first recipient to be awarded an African Sanitation Leadership Award for his role in promoting good sanitation and hygiene practices among his subjects.
Mr. Mbula says Zambia is humbled by Chief Macha’s recognition beyond Zambia’s borders and that government feels extremely proud. He thanked the African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW) for nominating the traditional ruler to receive the top prize in the leadership category.
Mr. Mbula said this in a press statement made available to ZANIS in Lusaka today signed by his Second Secretary for Press Phillip Chirwa.
Mr. Mbula made the remarks at the occassion on Wednesday.He urged other royal establishments not only in Zambia but through out the African continent to emulate Chief Macha. He stated that the recognition of Chief Macha was not about prestige but a call to duty and service for the betterment of the welfare of the people who had entrusted their leaders with the responsibility to preside over their affairs.
“Zambia remains committed to implementing the February 2008 Thekweini Durban Declaration that seeks to assist African countries to accelerate and achieve national and regional goals on water, sanitation and hygiene. These efforts deserve commendation because they are in the best interest of improving the living standards of our people,” Mr. Mbula said.
And the organizers of the award described Chief Macha as a major force and driver of change in the implementation of community-led Total Sanitation not only in his chiefdom but also attained Open Defecation Free status which authorities in Choma district and the province as a whole appreciated.
Chief Macha’s efforts on sanitation coverage doubled from 50 to 100 percent at household level in less than two years. He came up with a deliberate slogan, “One Family, One Toilet’ that saw government adopt the Make Zambia Clean and Healthy campaign that is designed to improve sanitation across the country.
In receiving the award, Chief Macha said he is humbled and privileged to see his efforts in championing good practices in his chiefdom being recognised beyond Zambia’s borders.
“This award does not belong to me alone as a traditional leader, I only played an influential role and I thank my people and all those who helped and supported me for without them I wouldn’t be getting this award today,” Chief Macha said in a statement.