Monday, June 17, 2024

Luapula River Authority establishment meeting held

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Luapula Province Permanent Secretary Mighty Mumba has disclosed that the establishment of the Luapula River Authority will enhance transboundary water cooperation between Zambia and the DR Congo through bilateral agreement.

Mr. Mumba says the establishment of the Luapula River Authority has been necessitated by the need to unlock the social economic status related to hydropower generation, tourism, agriculture among others.

Mr. Mumba was speaking when he officially opened the two day Chief Consultative meeting on the planned establishment of the Luapula River Authority at Mansa Hotel in Mansa District on Friday.

Following the Sub-National meeting that was held in September, a draft cooperative agreement for establishing of the Luapula River Authority has been developed.

“You may wish to know that a sub-national meeting in consulting and raising awareness to stakeholders on establishment of the Luapula River Authority was convened alongside the consultative meeting on Zambia’s intentions to accede to the United Nations Water CICOS in Mansa in September, 2022,” he said.

The Permanent Secretary has since disclosed that the purpose of the meeting with the traditional leaders is to consult them on the establishment of the Luapula River Authority as well as review the Draft Cooperative Agreement that has been developed.

“My appeal to all of you here is to encourage you to effectively participate in the deliberations of this important meeting and contribute towards the development of the Luapula River Authority,” he said.

Meanwhile, Ministry of Water Development and Sanitation Permanent Secretary Joe Kalusa disclosed that the Luapula River Authority has a great potential for hydro-power generation at a number of sites with the overall generation potential of 1,116 megawatts.

Represented by the Ministry’s Director Florah Simumba, the Permanent Secretary said ZESCO and ENSEL, a similar power utility company like ZESCO in the DRC, have been having deliberations to undertake a joint power generation venture on the Luapula River.

“In the same vein, there are immense challenges that the country has been facing to manage the water resources of the Luapula River as it is a transboundary water body,” Eng. Kalusa said.

Eng. Kalusa noted that in order to overcome the challenges, his Ministry has recommended for a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) to be put in place within the foreseeable future to foster closer cooperation for judicious, sustainable and coordinated management.

“Protection and utilisation of the shared water resource as well as to safeguard Zambia’s socio-economic interests in the long run and this SPV is the Luapula River Authority,” he said.

Eng. Kalusa stated that the Luapula River Authority will follow the same model of the Zambezi River Authority.

“However, unlike the Zambezi River Authority, whose formation was based on management of Lake Kariba for hydropower generation, the Luapula River Authority will be a multi-purpose vehicle whose mandate will foster hydropower generation, agriculture, fishing and tourism among others,” he disclosed.

Eng. Kalusa has since called for consented effort to expedite the process so that the Authority is set up within the set timeline of 2023 as enshrined by the Economic Recovery Plan 2020 to 2023.

“It is also important to mention that, once the final document is in place, it will be used as a basis for further consultations with our counterparts from the DRC who are more than ready to see the actualisation of the establishment of the Luapula River Authority,” he said.

The Chiefs Consultative Meeting on the Establishment of the Luapula River Authority is being held in Mansa District from 23 to 24 December, 2022.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Brilliant Idea indeed by the Government of the day, but my advice is that let us continue at where the PF had
    ended on al Luapula River Projects, including setting of Hydro Power Dam, Kasomeno – Mwenda Bridge and
    establishment of Luapula River Authority. GED Zambia and ACGT Congo DRC are ready to undertake some of the
    Project. Note that once done it will be not for PF, UPND but for Zambians and Congolese people.

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