Zambia, US sign K1.8trn Water and Sanitation Deal
ZAMBIA yesterday signed the single largest grant in the water, sanitation and drainage sector with the American government through the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) worth US$355 million (K1.8 trillion).
Finance and National Planning Minister Alexander Chikwanda signed the grant which is equivalent to K1.8 trillion on behalf of the Zambian Government while MCC chief executive officer Daniel Yohannes signed on behalf of the US government in Lusaka yesterday.
The five year $355 million compact deal aims at addressing one of Zambia’s most binding constraints to economic growth through infrastructure investment in Lusaka.
The compact would invest in water supply, sanitation and drainage infrastructure to reduce the prevalence of water related diseases.
The signing ceremony that took place at the Civic Centre, was witnessed by Vice-President Guy Scott who said Lusaka was built on a water shed which caused flooding easily.
Dr Scott said the grant would greatly assist in reducing incidents of flooding through improved drainage systems.
Speaking after the signing ceremony, Mr Chikwanda said the deal was a landmark for the city of Lusaka in its quest to provide water and sanitation for the residents of the nation’s capital whose population had grown from 134,000 at independence to over two million now.
He said the water, sanitation and drainage infrastructure had been out-stripped by the vast population growth mainly attributed to influx of people from all over Zambia in search of opportunities.
“This fight is not only to secure the MCC or other external support but because our own history and experience has taught us that good governance is key to the country’s sustainable development,” he said.
Mr Yohannes said MCC believed that its investments would only be sustainable if they were driven by partner countries themselves.
“So, true to the MCC principle of country-owned development, this compact is by and for the people of Zambia, both men and women,” he said.
He said in addition to the country owned development, the Zambia-MCC partnership practiced other principles key to development effectiveness which included making tough policy reforms for sustainability and embracing mutual accountability to deliver tangible results.
He said the MCC appreciated how strongly the PF Government was committed to the success of the compact deal.
US ambassador to Zambia Mark Storella said besides the water project, the US government stood by the Zambian people to support credible elections.
Mr Storella said Zambia demonstrated through its peaceful transition that even a small country could be a leader on the world stage.
In good governance, Mr Storella said his government was cooperating to strengthen institutions to fight corruption.
[Times of Zambia]