Zambia gets $355m water and sanitation grantBy | Friday, May 11 2012 at 10:03
Zambia Thursday signed a Millennium Challenge Corporation five-year $355 million (approximately K1.8 trillion) grant to boost its water sector.
The package, which is the largest single investment in the southern African nation’s water sector since its independence from Britain in 1964, aims at addressing one of most serious constraints to economic growth, water supply and sanitation.
It would also propel fresh investment injection in Lusaka’s water supply, sanitation and drainage system, which is poorly maintained by local authorities and proves a challenge during rainy season.
“Your Excellency, Mr President (Sata): We appreciate how strongly committed you and your government are to the success of this compact,” said visiting Millennium Challenge Corporation chief executive officer Daniel Yohannes during the signing ceremony in the capital Lusaka on Thursday.
“The fight against poverty transcends politics. I am pleased to see that the compact, which started to be developed under president Banda, begins its implementation now under you (President Sata).”
Mr Yohannes said the investment that MCC made would impact more than 1 million Zambians by improving their health and economic productivity.
Zambia Finance minister Alexander Chikwanda, who signed the compact on behalf of the government, praised the US for the grant saying it came at a time when most developed countries were implementing tough austerity measures which have resulted in budget cuts in development aid to developing countries.
Mr Chikwanda said investment would cut down the incidences and prevalence of water-related disease and perennial floods.
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