Mwanakatwe commends has been a long and challenging journey that has gotten us to this point, but a very rewarding one.
FINANCE minister Margaret Mwanakatwe says the successes scored under the Lusaka Water Supply, Sanitation and Drainage project have been implemented with the highest level of integrity, transparency and accountability with consistent engagement of key stakeholders.
She expressed the shared values between the United States Government and the Government of Zambia of good democratic governance, economic growth and poverty reduction during the celebration of the event.
Mwanakatwe said the project, however long and challenging, was a rewarding one and that the amount of works achieved were gratifying.
“The Compact signed on May 10, 2012 between the Zambian government and the United States government, acting through the Millennium Challenge Corporation for a grant of US$355 million expires on 15th November 2018, which signifies that Compact funding will only be available for closure activities beyond this date,” Mwanakatwe said. “It has been a long and challenging journey that has gotten us to this point, but a very rewarding one. It is gratifying to see the magnitude of works that have been achieved in the limited 5-year period.”
She said the benefits of the partnership would reach over 1.2 million residents of Lusaka, some of whom were already enjoying the benefits of the Compact investments.
“Ms Hauch, as you commission the different projects during your visit, you will notice the transformation taking place in the lives of the beneficiaries. For example, in Jack Compound, you will see how access to water has brought so much joy in that community,” she said.
Mwanakatwe expressed excitement on how the results of the investment were changing the picture for many.
Speaking on behalf of the many residents of peri-urban areas, who have to wake up early every morning to queue in order to draw water for their households.
She anticipated that the management of storm water in some parts of the city would be done with ease following the investment of over US$60 million in improvement of the Bombay and Mazyopa drainage system under the Compact.
“The end of the year does not only ring Christmas bells, but brings with it the anxiety of perennial flooding, which disrupts businesses, threatens infrastructure, and also puts lives at risk through the threat of Cholera. Over 100 lives were lost last year due to the cholera epidemic,” she said.
She said more residents would have access to improved sanitation.
“The completion of the expansion of the Kaunda Square Stabilization ponds at over US $10 million initially designed for 18,000 households will now serve over 156,000 households,” she said.
“On-going works in Mtendere targeting over 20,000 households will see many households get connected to clean, reliable and safe water as well as transition from using pit latrines to water borne toilets,” Mwanakatwe said.
Mwanakatwe commended the management of solid wastes through the creation of a value chain that benefits collectors of solid waste and extends to the production of finished products that are sold for business and provision of water and sanitation, which have been funded under the Compact in partnership with the private sector and non-governmental organisations.
Mwanakatwe added that the government was further committed to doing its part to ensure that the investments were sustainable.
“To that end, a successor entity to MCA-Zambia has been designated to complete the works in line with commitments made by government under the compact. Government has also met its financial obligations, which were conditions precedent to disbursements of MCC funding, ” she said.
“It is, therefore, my expectation that the bilateral relationship with the Millennium Challenge Corporation will not end with this Compact.”