Govt reaffirms commitment to private sector participation

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—-Government has affirmed its commitment towards encouraging private sector and community participation in the construction of capital projects such as dams in Mkushi district.

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Mkushi District Commissioner (DC,) Luka Mwamba, said this during a Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA) public forum at Loza Guest House in Mkushi.

Mr Mwamba said the Government recognised the benefits that dams brought to economic activities such as agriculture.

He said it was for this reason that Government substantiated projects such as the proposed Nkolonga River Earth Dam Project.

He said that Government was keen to see to it that the developers of this dam, Damust Farm Limited, completes the harmonisation of dam related issues with ZEMA, the local community, as well as local government authorities.

Mr Mwamba, however, stressed that Government would not relent in following up the progress and impact that this project was bearing on the community, adding that the district administration would work closely with ZEMA in this regard.

During the same forum, Project Consultant, Yoram Chama, disclosed that Damus Farm Limited intended to construct an earth dam with a capacity 3 million cubic millilitres of water at a projected cost of about K24 million ($400,000).

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Mr Chama said that the engineering team for the proposed dam had designed an infrastructure that would harvest water from the Nkolonga river in order to guarantee irrigation of crops for Damus Farm throughout the year.

He mentioned that the project was also expected to benefit the locals as 70 local workers would be employed during the construction and maintenance stages of the project.

The consultant said apart from this, the project was also expected to benefit surrounding villages that are located on the uplands of the river, saying that these communities would benefit from the expected increase in Nkolonga river water level.

Mr Chama said the project had also gone to great lengths to incorporate many social aspects     such as HIV prevention sensitisation, management of solid and liquid waste, as well as safety measures for workers and the dam infrastructure.

He assured that the project developers had taken into consideration the need to adhere to the related environmental standards that had been stipulated by ZEMA.        


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