The WORLD BANK has approved a 200 million United States dollars International Development Association credit under the Scale-up Facility for Zambia to improve selected rural roads in six of Zambia’s ten provinces.
This is according to INA RUTHENBERG, World Bank Country Manager for Zambia.
The project supports the Government’s development priorities as reflected in the National Development Plan and Vision 2030.
RUTHENBERG said that with Rural Connectivity Project is significant for Zambia, because it will improve connectivity in rural areas where poverty levels are particularly high.
She said that besides the project providing improved connectivity to schools, markets, health facilities, and jobs for the rural communities, it has the transformational potential of positioning Zambia as the regional food basket.
The Government of Zambia will finance the remaining four provinces.
According to the Rural Access Index, only 17 percent of rural population live within 2 kilometers of a good road in Zambia, leaving about 7.5 million rural residents unconnected to the road network in the country.
The Improved Rural Connectivity Project will benefit 460,000 people in the targeted rural areas.
Zambia’s is currently serviced by a road network of 67,671 kilometers; rural roads are in poor conditions making it difficult for small scale farmers to access markets for their produce.