The Zambian Government and the Western Water and Sewerage Company have signed a Forty-Two Point Two Million Dollars [US$42.2 million] ON-LENDING AND GRANT AGREEMENT, of which Thirty-Five Point Three Million Dollars [US$35.3 million] is a loan and Six Point Nine Million Dollars [US$6.9 million] a GRANT, for Water and Sanitation Programmes in 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 WESTERN WATER AND SEWERAGE COMPANY MANAGING DIRECTOR Mr. WAMUWI CHANGANI.
Commenting on the agreement, Mr. Mutati affirmed that the government, under the leadership of President Edgar Chagwa Lungu, is keen to resolve the water and sanitation challenges faced by citizens and 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,” stated the Minister.
Mr. Mutati further clarified that “the agreement will enable construction and rehabilitation of climate resilience 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 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,” assured the Minister.
The principal loan was obtained by the Government from the AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT BANK. 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 program 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. The ADB loans and grants will cover 80% of the total program costs. The Africa Growth Together Fund will contribute US$ 15 million in co-financing, and the Government of Zambia will provide counterpart funding.
Mr. Mutati concluded that 5,000 new jobs will be created during and after the implementation of the program in the four provinces.