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Thursday, 28 February 2013

Aid Watch (Denmark)

Denmark has given Zambia US$89 million for improvement of water and sanitation services in Ndola, Luanshya and Masaiti. Local Government D. Minister John Kufuna says the money will be released soon to Kafubu Water and Sewerage Company (KWSC) who will implement the project. He says the Government will continue sourcing money to improve water supply and sanitation services in the country because most of the equipment (e.g pumps) is obsolete and needs total replacement. KWSC plans to use the grant to upgrade pipes and service new areas. It also plans to extend sewerage facilities to new areas in Ndola, Luanshya and Masaiti.

A recent study by the Water and Sanitation Program (WSP) suggests poor sanitation (mostly water related) costs Zambia US$190m each year. This sum is the equivalent of US$16per person in Zambia per year or 1.3% of the national GDP. Hence the donor community is focusing much of the aid on water and sanitation.

For example, the Germany government last year committed itself to fund K550bn (€81m) over three years. It's Urban Water Supply and Sanitation programme supports improvement of water infrastructure in Eastern Province through the Eastern Water and Sewerage Company (EWSC). The programme includes drilling of boreholes, installation of pumps, construction of storage reservoirs, laying of pipes, construction of water kiosks, and rehabilitation of sanitation facilities in schools and hospitals as well as maintenance works on Lundazi Dam.

The entire sector depends on donors! All the 11 Commercial Utilities (CUs) providers are all in a deplorable state. MMD allowed then to become riddled with corruption and poor management. They cannot survive without these foreign grants - foreign aid grants are passed through the Devolution Trust Funds (DTF), National Water Supply and Sanitation Council (NWASCO) and Ministry of Local Government and Housing.

How can we have an entire sector dependent on donors?

Sadly, no one at the Ministry of Local Government or NWASCO seems to have a clear idea of what do about our water supply problems. But then again they all have boreholes! Zambia has an abundance of water - and we can't even get water and sanitation sorted out. Mind boggling incompetence. 

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