Thu, 08 Feb 2018 07:48:57 +0000
By MAILESI BANDA
ABOUT US$265 million has been committed by the World Bank to support various water projects that are aimed at stimulating economic growth.
According to a submission to the parliamentary committee on Energy, Water Development and Tourism, the bank disclosed that it had committed US$75 million for the implementation of the Zambezi River Basin Development project.
The project is aimed at facilitating sustainable climate resilience and growth through the strengthening of cooperative management.
Among the water projects is the rehabilitation of the Kariba dam, which gets a funding through the International Development Association (IDA) of about US$75 million of the total US$294 million required to improve the safety and reliability of the dam.
And about US$65 million has been allocated to the Lusaka sanitation project that will increase access to sanitation services in selected areas of Lusaka.
The Kariba dam rehabilitation project is also being supported by the African Development Bank, European Union and Sweden.
The submission explains that they have identified rehabilitation works that would be carried out to secure operations of the Kariba Dam adding that this consists of works to reshape the plunge pool and refurbishment works to restore and upgrade the spillway.
These works will be implemented in a phased manner over the next five to 10 years.
The bank further disclosed that it is also supporting the Zambia Water Resources Development Project, which had received about US$50 million and was focused on providing support in energy, water, environment, transport and irrigation.
According to the bank the project is said to be supporting a foundation for enabling both national and regional development initiatives and cooperative ventures.
The bank observed that vulnerability and increasing constraints derived from a number of water-related factors is affecting the economy , adding the recurrent floods and droughts over the past three decades were estimated to have cost the country US$13.8 billion.
The World Bank says climate change is expected to increase the intensity of the challenges and will negatively impact the national economy thus the need for interventions to mitigate the effects.