The Zambian Government has recently awarded a USD 200 million fund to Nkana Water and Sewerage Company (NWSC) for the development of water supply and sanitation coverage in Kitwe, Kalulushi and Chambishi in the country’s Copperbelt.
NWSC will use the proceeds to finance the Nkana Water Supply and Sanitation Project (NWSSP) Phase II which follows the Phase I developed between 2008 and 2011 at a total investment of USD 63 million, and aims at further improvements in water supply and sanitation services in the three towns and surrounding areas.
The NWSSP is part of a national program called the National Urban Water and Sanitation Programme (NUWSSP) which aims at reaching full sanitation coverage in the Copperbelt by 2030 up from the current average between 65% and 89%, and a country average at around 90% in the same year according to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
NWSC is thankful with the Zambian government due to its quick response to promote further improvements of sewer coverage soon after the Phase I was completed, and it is currently working with water stakeholders to enhance the project’s design, explained NWSC Public Relations Manager Mwangala Chiwala.
The NWSSP will support further achievements from those so far reached with the Phase I as water supply hours at 16 h per day up from 10 h per day in 2006 and sanitation coverage at 90% up from 67% in the same period, Mrs. Chiwala added.
These achievements have positioned NWSC as the best performed water utilities in the country with water quality ratio at 95% above a country’s average of 93%, water service coverage at 93% above an average of 82.1% and sanitation coverage at 62% against a country’s average of 56% according to National Water Supply and Sanitation Council (NWASCO) latest statistics.
According to NWASCO, the support of the Devolution Trust Fund (DTF) and the Zambian Government, utilities companies, have helped to raise the percentage of the urban population served with water from 58.1% in 2006 to 83.8% in 2014, totaling 5,131,657 people.
Regarding sanitation coverage, it has been improved from 41.9% to 60.7% in the same period by serving a total of 3,716,486 urban people.
In terms of rural population, the improvements have been in line with those in urban areas since the coverage has been raised from 41.4% in 2006 to 50.2% in 2014, serving a total of 4,698,017 rural people according to World Bank statistics.
Meanwhile, sanitation coverage in rural areas has been improved from 33.2% to 35.7% serving 3,312,944 rural people, a number that is close to the Zambian Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of 42%, according to the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).