Newton Sibanda
December 12, 2011

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) will give US$300 million to the government of Zambia under the Millennium Challenge project to enable it improve the water reticulation system in Lusaka Province.

Provincial Minister Miles Sampa says the project which will be undertaken by the public utility, Lusaka Water and Sewerage Company (LWSC), will take off during the first quarter of next year.

“Government is very grateful to the Americans and other cooperating partners for committing themselves to the improvement of water reticulation system in Lusaka,” Mr Sampa said.

Lusaka Province Minister, Miles Sampa

He was featuring on a Government Forum programme on the local Radio Phoenix.

Mr Sampa said the water reticulation system in Lusaka is obsolete and needs overhauling.

He noted that some pipes were installed before Zambia’s independence in 1964 and can no longer be repaired.

Mr Sampa said water is critical to development and that the Government will ensure that the water blues that beset Lusaka come to an end.

“People in Kafue do not have water yet they are next to the river (Kafue River),” he said.

Kafue is a small industrial town about 50 km south of the capital Lusaka and sits on the banks of the Kafue River, which accounts for over 40 percent of Zambia’s domestic water supply.

Hippos in River Kafue

The city of Lusaka draws its water from the Kafue river, which incidentally, is the country’s most polluted river.

Mr Sampa also said Government has set aside K600 billion (US$1=K5,000) in the 2012 budget that will be spent on various key areas of Lusaka province, including the water sector.

He said once the water reticulation system is re-done, cholera outbreaks-which are a common phenomenon during the rainy season- will be a thing of the past.

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