June 17, 2011
A new power utility company, Itezhi-tezhi Power Corporation is setting up a US$5 million water and sewerage infrastructure in the Southern part of Zambia. It becomes the first private company to be allowed to provide piped water to the community.
Itezhi-tezhi Power Corporation, a joint venture between India’s TATA Africa Holdings and the Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation said the water and sewerage infrastructure is part of the company’s social responsibility. The water and sewerage infrastructure is expected to minimize water problems in the province that is currently serviced by one water company, the Southern water and Sewerage Company. The Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation is a government run power utility company.
Itezhi-tezhi Power Corporation director Robert Nsamba announced last month the construction of the project is underway. Nsamba said the new water and sewerage infrastructure will provide water and sewerage to houses in the district and the new houses that are being constructed in Itezhi-tezhi by the company.
“The power company will give 0.5 percent of its annual total revenue to the community to support sanitation among other things,” said Nsamba.
The Itezhi-tezhi Power Corporation is the first private company in Zambia to be allowed to provide water and sewerage services by the Zambian government. The Zambian government has been refusing to give water licenses for piped water to private companies claiming the quality of water will be compromised despite many communities still facing water shortages.
Nsamba said the development will also minimize water shortages currently being experienced in the district. Currently, only 200 houses have access to piped water and sanitation services in the district.
The new water and sewerage infrastructure comes on the heel of the Zambian government’s call for the private sector to assist the government in the provision of water and sanitation services by funding government water projects. Major donors in the water sector in Zambia including the German government through German Technical Assistance (GTZ) have minimized their support to the Zambian water sector while the Danish government through Danish Association for International Development (Danida) has permanently withdrawn its support.
The new power company is expected to build 50 new houses for its staff and a US$250, 000 commercial guesthouse that will also be connected to the new water and sanitation infrastructure.
Nsamba said the water and sewerage infrastructure will be completed by the beginning of the second quarter of next year.