Lusaka – The United States government’s Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Chief Executive Officer Dana J. Hyde joined U.S. Ambassador to Zambia Eric Schultz for a visit to Lusaka, Zambia on May 5 and 6, 2016. This was CEO Hyde’s first trip to Zambia. During the visit, CEO Hyde met with officials from the Government of the Republic of Zambia and civil society leaders, as well as beneficiaries of the Millennium Challenge Zambia Compact, a $355 million U.S. government-funded bilateral agreement focusing on improving water supply, sanitation, and drainage infrastructure in Lusaka.
Ambassador Schultz and CEO Hyde met with Zambian government officials, including President Edgar Lungu, during which CEO Hyde highlighted appreciation for the strong partnership between the United States and the Government of the Republic of Zambia, as well as the commitment of the entity responsible for implementing the compact, Millennium Challenge Account Zambia Limited (MCA-Zambia), chaired by Secretary of the Treasury Fredson Yamba. During public remarks, CEO Hyde reiterated the importance to the MCC of free and fair elections as part of its criteria for awarding compacts and underscored previous statements of Ambassador Schultz and other U.S. officials that the United States does not support a political party or candidate in Zambia’s upcoming elections. “The candidate we support is the Zambian people,” she said.
As part of the visit, Ambassador Schultz joined CEO Hyde for a ribbon cutting event at a Manja Pamodzi recycling center in Ngombe financed in part by MCA-Zambia’s Innovation Grant Program (IGP). Manja Pamodzi is a cooperating partner initiative founded by Zambian Breweries. The project supports private sector aggregators and area women in efforts to collect and market recyclable garbage, helping to reduce solid waste that inhibits proper drainage and supports better overall sanitation.
In addition, CEO Hyde and Ambassador Schultz visited Mtendere for a groundbreaking event that marked the commencement of construction of a networked water supply to reach individual households in Mtendere and an off-site sanitation network for an improved environment in Mtendere. A key part of the MCC compact investment, two contracts totalling $32.4 million include introduction of household water supply and access to household sewer connections, and related rehabilitation of sewage treatment ponds, benefiting 155,000 people in Mtendere. Lusaka Water Supply and Sewerage Company will manage the completed infrastructure.
About the site visits, MCC CEO Hyde said, “Access to clean water and sanitation is critical to the health and prosperity of our communities. And yet, too many people in Zambia and around the world do not have access to these basic services. The U.S. government is proud to partner with Zambia in support of the effort to improve the water sector, benefitting the lives of more than one million Zambians.”
In his remarks, Ambassador Schultz commented, “Clean water is of importance to all…. I am proud that the United States government has played an active role in promoting the supply of clean water and access to improved sanitation, in many of the countries. Here in Zambia, improving water supply, sanitation, and personal hygiene has been an objective of numerous agencies, including through the U.S. government’s Millennium Challenge Corporation compact.”
MCC, acting through its Zambian government counterpart, MCA-Zambia, is investing in water supply, sanitation, and drainage infrastructure with the goal of decreasing the incidence and prevalence of water-related diseases, productive days lost due to disease and time to collect water, cost of water and new sanitation, and business and residential flood losses. Overall, the sub-projects are aimed at reducing poverty and promoting economic growth. More than 1.2 million people in Lusaka are expected to directly benefit from the project.