World Bank Gives Zambia US$ 50 Million
THE World Bank has awarded Zambia US$50 million to help support water resource management across the country.
Of this amount, US$30 million is for construction of 15 dams and 300 exploratory boreholes in various parts of the country this year as well as for the maintenance of 20 already existing dams.
Minister of Energy and Water Development Dora Siliya said Government will this year enhance the management of water resources to ensure that it is available for various uses at all times in adequate quantities and quality.
Ms Siliya said a water crisis consultative meeting in Lusaka yesterday that necessary water infrastructure should be put in place to ensure water security.
“In view of the low rains experienced this year, Government has embarked on a number of projects to harvest water to mitigate the impact of climate change. The country has 40 percent of water in the southern region but most of it is not harvested,” Ms Siliya said.
Minister of Agriculture Given Lubinda said Zambia has been receiving 160 billion cubic metres of water annually for the past 10 years and only 60 billion cubic metres of it is harvested while the rest is washed away.
Mr Lubinda said close to 10 million of the 75 million hectares of land is constantly covered by water yet most food items are imported due to the failure to harvest water.
“We are also working with our stakeholders to encourage our farmers to diversify and engage in conservation farming to help retain moisture in the soil,” he said.
He also encouraged the public to look at alternative sources of starch to reduce the dependence on maize, which requires a lot of rain to grow.
Mr Lubinda said his ministry is working with the World Bank to set up three irrigation schemes in Mufulira, Chisamba and Chipepo.
The minister said by February, President Lungu is expected to commission the construction of one of the dams in Chisamba.