Zambia has outlined her progress to undertake the implementation of the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which largely form the framework for a structured approach to social and economic development of nations across the globe.
Zambia has so far integrated about 86 percent of the Sustainable Development Goals in the 7th National Development Plan (7NDP) since the choreographing of the global agenda in 2015 in prioritising its socio-economic development.
Minister of National Development and Planning, Honourable Alexander Chiteme has told the United Nations that Zambia has formulated its 7th National Development Programme (7NDP) and aligned it to the SDGs in the quest to meet national developmental targets.
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a global agenda, adopted by countries in 2015, with a vision of ending poverty, protecting the planet and ensuring that all people enjoy peace and prosperity.
Addressing United Nations Member States at the ongoing High Level Political Forum (HLPF) in New York, Mr Chiteme said Zambia regonises that access to clean and safe water and sanitation by all is critical to the eradication of poverty, vulnerabilities and the reduction of developmental inequalities.
“In our endeavour to tackle SDG 6, Zambia has increased the proportion of households accessing improved sources of drinking water to 67.7 percent from 63 percent. To address the high burden of sanitation and hygiene related morbidity and mortality especially among rural communities, Government is implementing the Zambia Sanitation and Hygiene Programme whose core activities include the increase in the use of improved sanitation facilities to 75 percent from 46 percent. This will contribute in the reduction of diarrheal diseases among children,” Mr Chiteme said.
Mr Chitme stated that Zambia’s target in the energy sector is to increase its capacity in renewable energy generation by about 6 percent by the year 2021 with a progressive increase of up to 15 percent by 2030.
He said in pursuing SDG number 7, Zambia’s strategy is to diversify its energy mix in a bid to reduce on Green-House gas emissions as well as moving away from the dependency on hydro-power generated energy which he said is currently at 90 percent.
He explained that the peril of over-dependence on hydro-power energy has been that Zambia has been exposed to climate change variabilities, which have affected the good performance of the country’s economy.
Mr Chiteme told Member States that Zambia’s initiative in the diversification of its energy sector includes the scaling up of the solar power generation programme under which Government has embarked on the process of developing up to 600MW of solar energy.
“Government has accessed a total of US$52.5 million from the Green Climate Fund (GCF) with an additional US$50 million contribution from the African Development Bank which is aimed at catalysing private sector investment in renewable energy,” Mr Chiteme Said.
He further said that Zambia has given priority to the decentralisation reforms which would ensure the localisation of governance and planning system as adopted in SDG 11.
He explained that due to rapid urbanisation in Zambia, the country has seen the proliferation of slums, which he said has come with undesirable characteristics which call for upgrading of slums.
“On SDG 15, the Zambian Government is implementing measures to support rural communities to better manage resources of their landscape so as to reduce deforestation and unsustainable agriculture activities. We have, therefore embarked on a programme to plant a million trees, which was launched by His Excellency, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, the President of the Republic of Zambia. The aim is to restore ecosystems, promote bio-diversity and contribute to economic growth,” Mr Chiteme said.