Zambia and the Netherlands recently signed a grant agreement of EUR900,000 for detailed design of water works at Solwezi in northwestern Zambia.
The grant agreement was signed by Robert Dijksterhuis, a member of the Board of International Programs of the Netherlands Enterprise Agency, and Zambia’s Finance Minister Felix Mutati.
Zambia’s Ministry of Finance indicates that once completed the Solwezi water and sanitation works will benefit over 100,000 inhabitants.
“We are looking forward to the completion of design works so that we proceed and implement the project using a financing facility that will comprise of a 50% grant from the Government of Netherlands and 50% from the Zambian Government,” Mutati said.
“Zambia’s agreement with the Netherlands marks an important milestone in putting 100,000 residents of the Solwezi community on an inclusive and sustainable course through provision of safe, clean, piped and functional water and sanitation services […] we are unwavering in our commitment towards this goal as we believe that Zambia offers some of the best opportunities due to the abundant natural water resource endowments,” he added.
According to the World Bank, in Zambia only 33% of the population has access to clean drinking water supply against a 75% target set by the United Nation’s Millennium Development Goals (MDG).
Regarding to adequate sanitation facilities, only 43% have access to this service compared with a 70% target set by the UN’s MDG.
To further improve water supply in Zambia, the African Development Bank (AfDB) recently approved a USD135m loan to finance a water and sanitation program targeting small towns in Zambia.
The Integrated Small Towns Water Supply and Sanitation Program aims to increase access to quality water supply and sanitation services in a sustainable manner in 12 towns located in four provinces of Zambia.