Innocencia Tikho Lungu

Age: 17
Hometown: Ndola, Zambia
Lives In: Ndola, Zambia
Seeds of Hope International Partnerships (SoHIP), Ndola, Zambia
Centre for Affordable Water and Sanitation Technologies (CAWST), Calgary, Alberta*
*ACGC Member

Youths must take bold steps on matters of water and sanitation by advocating for change: hold dialogues with civic leaders and others where everyone can air their views and devise plans together.

I live in a community where there are a lot of issues with water and sanitation, and our access to improved water and sanitation facilities is limited. When I was eleven, SoHIP visited our school with a water, sanitation, and hygiene awareness (WASH) program sponsored by CAWST where we created a group action plan for the school and it was successfully implemented. The program triggered my interest when I realized how badly we were affected by sanitation issues. I became motivated to take measures that would help change our community, so from then on, I started sharing what I learned with other kids my age. All this is possible because I am an action-oriented girl who is inspired to take little steps.

Which SDG are you most passionate about and why?

SDG 6: Clean Water and Sanitation because these are basic human rights. Our day to day lives are dependent on them. I am faced with a situation where we collect water from shallow wells and people in the neighbourhoods share pit latrines. I had the opportunity to learn about the adverse impacts this has on our health and well-being, which has made me become even more passionate about improving my community’s access to water and sanitation.

What lesson can you share about building meaningful partnerships for the Sustainable Development Goals?

As we collectively seek to build a better world, it is equally important that we build meaningful partnerships to achieve our set goals. Even with my little experience, I have observed that life is complementary in that one aspect of life affects the other. The lesson I can share is that we should strive to make sure our partners are true partners, which requires humility and, above all, trust. We should also search for effective innovations that can start small and then develop partnerships to expand reach and impact, along with a commitment to testing, documenting, and sharing successes and failures.



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