03 October 2017
The Zambian Government and the Western Water and Sewerage Company (WWSC) have signed a US$42.2 million on –lending and grant agreement.
Of the total amount, US$5.3 million is a loan and US$6.9 million a grant for water and sanitation programmes in the provincial capital Mongu, Sesheke, Senanga, and Kaoma districts of Zambia’s Western Province.
The Integrated Small Towns Water Supply and Sanitation Program, under which the agreement has been signed, aims to increase sustainable access to quality water supply and sanitation services in the four districts, by efficiently managing and operating the utilities on commercial basis.
The agreement was signed in Lusaka by Minister of Finance Felix Mutati and WWSC managing director Wamuwi Changani.
Speaking after signing of the agreement, Mr Mutati said that the government was keen to resolve the water and sanitation challenges faced by residents in towns which are currently experiencing rapid growth in order to speed up the country-wide economic transformation, industrialization, growth, and job-creation agenda.
Concerning the water and sanitation challenges in the targeted districts of Western Province, “the infrastructure will be rehabilitated and expanded to facilitate human consumption, create a favorable environment for economic stabilisation, and grow industries and other economic sector related ventures in the target areas,” Mr Mutati said.
He explained that the agreement will enable construction and rehabilitation of climate resilient water and sanitation infrastructure, including expansion into peri-urban and low-cost settlements, adding that the programme will also build the capacity of water utilities, regulators, and train communities involved in the program including creating economic opportunities for women and youth.
The programmes in Western Province are part of the interventions in four of Zambia’s 10 provinces.
“The intervention in the four provinces will also result in up to one million residents in the targeted towns gaining better health from increased access to safe and reliable drinking water and improved sanitation services,” the minister said.
Apart from the listed beneficiary towns in Western Province, the beneficiary towns in the other provinces are Kasama and Mbala in Northern; Nakonde and Mpika in Muchinga; and, Mansa, Samfya, Mwense and Kawambwa in Luapula.
The programme in the four provinces is expected to be implemented during a period of 48 months and will cost a total of US$ 150.57 million which was the principal loan from the AfDB to the Zambian government.
The ADB loans and grants will cover 80 percent of the total programme costs. The Africa Growth Together Fund will contribute US$ 15 million in co-financing, and the Zambian Government will provide counterpart funding.
Mr Mutati projects that 5,000 new jobs will be created during and after the implementation of the programme in the four provinces.