By Patrick Soko
Water Development, Sanitation, and Environmental Protection Minister Jonas Chanda says President Edgar Lungu remains committed to improving the livelihood of the people of Muchinga Province as can be witnessed by massive investments in water and sanitation infrastructure and services.
Dr. Chanda says Government, with support from the African Development Bank, through the Chambeshi Water Supply and Sanitation Company, has embarked on the Integrated Small Towns Water Supply and Sanitation Project which will address challenges of lack of sewer network and inadequate water supply services in Nakonde and Mpika districts, at a cost of USD 18.6 million.
This project will involve the construction of new water supply and sanitation infrastructure and will benefit 150, 000 people.
He has also disclosed that the government is also implementing another water supply and sanitation project worth ZMK 121 million in three districts, namely, Chinsali, Isoka and Nakonde, which once completed will benefit 34,000 people with safe and clean water and sanitation services.
The Minister has further explained that the Ministry has already prepared and submitted designs to the Ministry of Finance for the construction of new water and sanitation infrastructure for Shiwang’andu District which will benefit 70, 000 people.
The Shiwang’andu project is expected to be implemented in an Engineering – Procurement – Construction plus Financing Model.
He has reiterated that the ongoing and planned projects in the region are aimed at accelerating the attainment of the set targets in the Vision 2030, the Seventh National Development Plan and the Sustainable Development Goals.
The Minister says plans are underway to create a new and separate Water Utility Company for Muchinga Province, as currently, Chambeshi Water Supply and Sanitation company is the only commercial utility for both Northern and Muchinga provinces.
Dr. Chanda who said this when he met Shiwan’gandu Member of Parliament and Home Affairs Minister Steven Kampyongo and Chinsali Member of Parliament Kalalwe Mukosa in Chinsali, indicated that this is in line with the National Decentralization Policy and will increase efficiency in service provision, as well as address geographical and logistical challenges currently faced by Chambeshi Water Supply and Sanitation Company in managing the two provinces.
Meanwhile, Mr. Kampyongo says investments that the Ministry is putting up in the provision of clean and safe water and sanitation services can not go without being applauded.
Earlier, Mr. Mukosa appealed to Dr. Chanda to prioritize the completion of the ZMK 51 million Chinsali Water Supply and Sanitation project which is at 95 percent and only requires ZMK10.9 million to finish and provide services to 34,000 Chinsali residents.