Zambia Gets $3.2m Drainage Deal

Zambia Gets $3.2m Drainage Deal.

THE Millennium Challenge Account ( MCA) Zambia has signed a US$ 3.2 million contract with Seureca Consultants of France to provide technical assistance to Lusaka City Council ( LCC) for drainage maintenance and solid waste management.

The technical assistance is part of the US$ 355 million Lusaka Water Supply, Sanitation and Drainage project funded by the United States ( US) government under the Millennium Challenge Corporation ( MCC).

Speaking during the signing ceremony in Lusaka yesterday, MCA board chairperson and Secretary to the Treasury Fredson Yamba said the overall goal of the assignment is to ensure sustainability of the drainage investments.

Mr Yamba said in a speech read for him by MCA chief executive officer Pamela Bwalya that the consultancy will enable LCC to effectively and efficiently manage the current and future drainage infrastructure.

He said this is to ensure effective collection, transportation and proper disposal of municipal solid waste.

“ The consultancy will minimise the accumulation of garbage in the drainage channels and the resultant obstruction and reduction of storm water conveyance capabilities.

“ It will further assist the LCC to document best practices in both business and engineering processes, structures and frameworks that will enable the local authority to sustainably maintain the city’s storm water system in an efficient and effective manner,” he said.

Mr Yamba commended the US government for providing a “ generous gift of US$ 355 million” through the MCC which has enabled the technical assistance to the LCC. “ The existing drainage system in Lusaka is currently unable to cope with the annual volumes of storm water, leading to flooding in various parts of the city every year.

“ The reason for this is not only because of inadequate engineered drains around Lusaka, but also because of indiscriminate dumping of solid waste in our existing drains and elsewhere, leading to blockages which then result in poorly functioning drainages,” he said.

And US Ambassador to Zambia Eric Schultz said the contract is another milestone for the US$ 355 million contract signed between the Zambian government and the US through the MCC. “ I understand that the LCC estimates that about 875 metric tons of rubbish are generated in the city every day with only about 30 percent formally collected and disposed. This is a lot of rubbish, before long it would take over entire communities,” Mr Schultz said.

He said the solid waste in the city is stagnant due to lack of resources, along with clear policies and practices to manage solid waste.

“ We see it (rubbish) every day, it clogs drains, which contributes to flooding, it covers roads and public lands, we see solid waste instead of football fields and children’s play areas. All of this is a risk to public health,” Mr Schultz said.

And Lusaka mayor Wilson Kalumba assured stakeholders that the local authority will work closely with Seureca consultant to provide the necessary information to establish viable solutions.

Mr Kalumba said the solutions will assist to maintain drains and ensure an efficient solid waste management system.