Lusaka, Zambia—Today, April 5, 2016, the Millennium Challenge Account Zambia Limited (MCA-Zambia) launched a ceremony marking groundbreaking of three construction activities focused on improving rainwater management throughout a number of Lusaka communities. The construction works packages are part of the US$355 million Lusaka Water Supply, Sanitation and Drainage (LWSSD) Project funded by the United States Government through the Millennium Challenge Corporation’s (MCC) five year Compact with the Government of the Republic of Zambia.
The event, attended by Honorable Stephen Kampyongo, Minister of Local Government and Housing, and Eric Schultz, the United States of America Ambassador to the Republic of Zambia, among others, was held in the Garden compound, along a portion of the Bombay drain targeted for rehabilitation.
In his remarks Ambassador Schultz noted that, “This groundbreaking celebration is the culmination of many, many, months of hard work realized through the strong partnership between the governments of the United States of America and Zambia. In particular, I would like to recognize the Millennium Challenge Account Zambia (MCA-Zambia) for their work in developing and overseeing these projects, and the Lusaka City Council for partnering with MCA-Zambia and committing to supporting these drainage improvements.”
The Ambassador also spoke of hardships faced by a Garden North resident living along the Bombay drain, including a how her family suffers from the build-up of odorous rubbish that blocks the drain, attracting pests and contributing to flooding of her household. The resident, who is working with MCA-Zambia through a resettlement consultant to facilitate construction works, will — like many others — receive fair compensation for any loss of property related to construction.
The Honorable Minister remarked that, “On behalf of the Government, I would like to reassure the expectant residents and the American Government that we will continue to provide all the necessary support required to implement the project on time … Drainage maintenance is a culture that needs to be developed in our people in order to ensure that this infrastructure operates efficiently and delivers the intended benefits. I urge the Lusaka City Council, to ensure that the drainage infrastructure is maintained. I also implore the residents of Lusaka who are the direct beneficiaries of this investment to desist from disposing of litter in the drainage and other such vices and start managing solid waste properly. This is our country and we need to keep it clean.”
Both the Minister of Local Government and Housing and Ambassador congratulated MCA-Zambia, Lusaka City Council and the contractors at the marking of this important step, and noted the contractors’ responsibility to complete all works on time and on budget to ensure the US$53 million total investment benefits the 190,000 Lusaka residents targeted as planned.
The drainage construction works are anchored within the Comprehensive Urban Development Plans for the City of Lusaka. Two of the construction packages focus on rehabilitation of the Bombay drain and its tributaries, which runs approximately 30 kilometers across Lusaka from Chilenge South to the Ngwerere stream. The works involve transforming existing natural courses and un-engineered drains by widening or deepening them in key locations, and lining them with concrete in order to strengthen them, increase their carrying capacity and protect the infrastructure. The drain will be covered in select places, especially in the Kamwala trading area. Trash traps will be built in order to enhance drainage maintenance, fencing will be added, and a number of bridges constructed as crossing points for residents. The improved Bombay drainage system will eliminate flooding and related negative health impacts, thus immediately improving the quality of life of residents, while enhancing traffic flow and protecting the property of households and businesses within the area. The construction firm Cooperative Muratori & Cementist di Ravenna (CMC) will complete the Bombay drain works at a cost of US$35.5 million.
Once the Bombay drain is completed, flooding will be reduced in the city. However, the augmented volume of water moving through the Bombay channel has the potential of increasing flooding for the residents of Mazyopa, which is located downstream. The Mazyopa drain is therefore designed so that storm water flow will be drained into the Ngwerere River, thereby safeguarding the lives and property of the community of Mazyopa. MCA-Zambia has engaged Construções Gabriel A.S. Couto, SA to construct the over 2.6 kilometers of drainage in Mazyopa settlement at a cost of US$17.2 million.
MCC 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. Over 1.2 million people in Lusaka are expected to directly benefit from the project.
For more information, please contact the following:
Dr. John Kunda
Communications and Outreach Director
Millennium Challenge Account – Zambia
P.O. Box 51290 | Lusaka | ZAMBIA |
Tel: +260 (0) 211- +260(211)-256004/71 Ext: 112 Cell: +26-0979765025