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US$6 million investment required in water, sanitation sector – Kalusa

Government says there is a financing gap of US$6 million in the water and sanitation sector in the country.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Water Development and Sanitation Joe Kalusa said the investment opportunities are secure for anyone interested to work in the sector.

Mr Kalusa said the country has 11 water utility companies that require water and sanitation services from companies supplying parts and accessories and technical services.

“In the water sector, which is for water and sanitation, we expect to have an investment of US$6 million,” said Mr Kalusa.

He challenged investors to set up manufacturing and assembling plants for water equipment and other accessories for water and sanitation services in order to reduce costs.

“If we talk about the pipes, water meters, everything is imported, “pointed out Mr Kalusa.

He said the 11 water utility companies create a bigger market that any investor in the sector can tap into and recoup their investments and create jobs especially for youths.

Mr Kalusa said Zambia has adequate raw materials needed to manufacture water equipment, chemicals and other accessories.

The Permanent Secretary also appealed to Water and Sanitation investors like KSB Zambia to consider setting up workshops in provincial centres to facilitate maintenance and repair of water and sanitation equipment so that water utility firms, industrial and domestic customers are not inconvenienced.

“If a pump was to break down in Kasama where we have Chambeshi Water and Sanitation Company, it means we have to bring that pump from Chambeshi into Lusaka or Kitwe where KSB is based,” he said.

And German Water Sanitation Company KSB says it is keen to increase its investment in the water sector from US$3 million to US$6 million.

KSB Zambia Manager, Fanus Terblans said his company which is 150 years old has been in Zambia for five years and wants to expand its presence.

Mr Terblans said his company provides industrial and domestic water and sanitation accessories, solutions and services.

He pointed out that the business and regulatory framework has impacted positively on his company’s business.

He said his firm will collaborate with government and relevant authorities to enhance skills in the water and sanitation sector in order to improve service delivery.

Meanwhile, Impact Research Limited is conducting a research on expanding Water and Sanitation Project Baseline Assessment in 12 districts in Zambia.

The assessment is conducted on behalf of Research Triangle International’s Zambia USAID funded Project on expanding water and sanitation on the upcoming WASHE Project in Kazungula district as well as other districts in selected areas in the country.

This came to light during a special D-WASHE meeting held at Kazungula Council Chamber yesterday.

Impact Research Assistant, Brenda Mpande disclosed that in Southern Province, Kazungula and Kalomo districts were picked while in Muchinga Province, Mpika and Nchinsali are being covered.

Ms. Mpande added that other districts in the country include, Kalabo, Nalolo and Sesheke in Western Province as well as Luwingu and Nakonde in Northern Province.

“Impact Research is trying to assess the current situation in terms of water and sanitation in peri-urban and rural areas in the named districts. The information gathered will help Research Triangle International (RTI) and USAID to establish strategies that will enhance the enabling environment for private sector engagement in water service delivery in Zambia,” Ms. Mpande explained.

Ms. Mpande further stated that Impact Research Ltd also hopes to professionalize WASHE services, promote accountability for reliable and high quality service provision.

She mentioned that in Kazungula district, baseline assessment has been undertaken in 10 enumeration areas in four chiefdoms namely Mukuni, Sekute, Musokotwane and Nyawa respectively.

Ms. Mpande said a report will be generated on the findings and inform the RTI and USAID on the possibilities of the upcoming WASHE Project in those areas.

Research Triangle International is currently implementing USAID’s flagship Zambia Expanding Water and Sanitation Project (USAID ZEWP).

RTI is an independent, nonprofit research institute dedicated to improving the human condition with a vision to address the world’s most critical problems with science-based solutions in pursuit of a better future.