Government to mobilize funds for improved water and sanitation

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Government to mobilize funds for improved water and sanitation

Livingstone, February 25, ZANIS ——Minister of Local Government and Housing Ms Emily Kabanshi says government will continue to mobilise both domestic and external resources to improve the water supply and sanitation infrastructure countrywide in order to increase access to clean drinking water.

Officially launching the K2.7 billion (KR2.7 million) Dambwa water supply project funded by the Devolution Trust Fund (DTF) in Livingstone today, Ms Kabanshi  notes that most of water supply and sanitation infrastructures were too old, limited and dilapidated because they were constructed before independence and have now outlived their capacity to adequately serve the increasing  population.

Ms Kabanshi said this sad state of affairs is as a result of inadequate and lack of investment in the water sector by the previous government.

“The PF government will continue to mobilize both domestic and external resources to improve water supply and sanitation infrastructure countrywide in order to facilitate increased water
access to majority of Zambians,” said Ms Kabanshi.

The Ministers said the launch of the projects was a clear demonstration of the fulfilment of the campaign promises made by the government to improve water supply in peri-urnban areas.

Ms Kabanshi also explained that government will continue to implement the National Urban water supply and sanitation programme which runs from 2011 to 2013 and is expected to gobble an estimated K20 Trillion(KR20 Billion) for all the 11 water utility companies to improve service delivery in urban and peri-urban areas.

She also said she will personally be closely monitoring the progress on the Dambwa water project and urged the Southern Water and Sewerage Company (SWASCO) to ensure that the contractors complete the works so that people in the area can benefit.

She further pointed out that it should not only be the United Nations World Tourism General Assembly (UNWTO) that should motivate people to implement projects in Livingstone but that the people in the city deserve clean and safe drinking water like everyone else in the country.

Ms Kabanshi appealed to Dambwa residents to guard the water infrastructure against vandalism.

 Meanwhile, Ms Kabanshi said  the PF government has set aside about K50 Billion(KR50 Million) for the SWASCO to start improving water supply and sanitation services in Livingstone this year adding that this was a clear testimony of the government support to the people of Livingstone.

Apart from that Ms Kabanshi said her ministry was facilitating the provision of municipal services such as urban and feeder roads, drainage systems, streets lighting and waste management among other projects in a bid to improve service delivery to Livingstone residents.

“You may wish to know that the PF government is this year alone spending close to K200 Billion (KR200 Million) in Livingstone for the improvement of municipal services through Livingstone city council, SWASCO and other government agencies,” said Ms Kabanshi.

DTF Manager Sam Gonga said since its establishment in 2003, DTF has assisted about 900,000 people in peri-urban and low cost areas with improved access to clean water supply.

He however, noted that the increased number of people without access to sustainable water supply is still high with over two million people going without the commodity in most peri-urban areas.

He said to address these problems DTF has devised a strategic plan for 2013 to 2015 in which 450,000 additional people have been targeted to benefit.

Mr Gonga said government’s move to prioritise water provision will make huge strides in making Zambia’s water sector a beacon in the region and improve the living conditions for all.

The government through DTF has been providing funding to water utilities countrywide so that people can have access to sufficient water supply and sustainable sanitation services.

SWACSO Acting Manager Charles Shandaile  said once completed the project will cover about 12,000 inhabitants translating into about 2,000 households adding that the projects will include among other things the replacement of old dysfunctional water reticulation system, and installation of water meters.

He explained that his company has continued to receive funding from DTF to implement other water projects in Kalomo at about K1.1 Billion(KR1.1 Million), Ngwenya area of Livingstone, Sinazeze in Sinazongwe, in Mazabuka, in Siavonga and the ongoing sanitation project in Libuyu areas in Livingstone.

Mr Shandaile said the company has also been receiving support for water projects from government through the ministry of local government and housing for other projects including Kashitu in Livingstone at a cost K2.8 Billion(KR2.8 Million), Pemba at a cost of K5 Billion (KR5 Million), Nega Nega in Mazabuka at a tune of K834 Million (KR834,000), Lusitu in Siavonga at K621 Million (KR621,000) and Mbabala in Choma at a cost of K455 Million (KR 455,000) all amounting to
K9.7 Billion (KR9.7 Million).

He thanked the government and DTF for the financial support that has made the company make strides in the provision of safe and clean drinking water in line with the vision of government.