Cabinet approves US$114 million loans for Kariba dam rehabs
Lusaka, February 17, ZANIS —Cabinet has approved two loan contractions amounting to over US$129 million to finance the rehabilitation of Kariba dam and improve the provision of clean water in Western province.
Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services Chishimba Kambwili disclosed the development when he addressed journalists at his office in Lusaka today.
Mr. Kambwili, who is also Chief Government Spokesperson, said government has contracted US$75 million from the World Bank and US$39 million from the African Development Bank to repair cracked walls of the Kariba dam.
The minister said the rehabilitation project, which is being undertaken by the governments of Zambia and Zimbabwe, needs to be urgently undertaken to avoid potential emergency situations.
He pointed out that the dam is vital to the economy of Zambia and the sub region.
He said it would therefore be catastrophic if the dam collapses.
Mr. Kambwili also said US$15.5 million has been contracted to improve water supply and sanitation in Western province.
He said 16 districts in Western province will benefit from the implementation of the water and sanitation project under phase two of transforming rural livelihoods.
Mr. Kambwili explained that the project will contribute to poverty alleviation and improve the health of Zambia’s rural population through access to clean water.
The minister further announced that Cabinet has approved the appointment of nine members of the Zambia Revenue Authority Governing Board who will later be announced by Minister of Finance Alexander Chikwanda.
The previous board was appointed in November 2011 and its three year tenure of office expired in October 2014.
Meanwhile, Mr. Kambwili also disclosed that Cabinet will be made announcing government policy decisions through statements that will be issued by the Government Chief spokesperson immediately after cabinet meetings.
He said this is intended to help people make informed decisions concerning issues that government is working on.
Mr. Kambwili has meanwhile dismissed assertions from some quarters of society who have been alleging that government is borrowing heavily and making the country highly indebted.
He said such allegations were cheap politics from Patriotic Front (PF) detractors.
The Minister said the PF administration is responsible and is only borrowing within its capacity to pay back.
Mr. Kambwili has since assured Zambians that money being borrowed is being used to support infrastructure development in order to improve the welfare of Zambians.