President Edgar Lungu has toured the US$449 million Kafulafuta Water Supply System Project whose works have reached 86 percent complete.
President Lungu said the Ministry of Finance through the treasury will source for money to complete the remaining 16 percent of the works so that people can start realising benefits from the project.
Speaking during the briefing, President Lungu said he brought along the Minister of Finance Bwalya Ng’andu to the project so that he can assess what is required to finish the project.
“I brought along my Minister of Finance here so that he can see for himself what is required to complete this project. I know he has been busy with the national budget but I wanted him here so that as they plan, they should also know what is needed for this particular project and others… I have no comments because my Minister is here already to provide the solution,” President Lungu said.
The President said government wants the project to be completed so that the community in the catchment districts can be served better.
The Head of State took a conducted tour of the dam, climbing up to the top of the dam embankment to see the aerial view of the entire project site.
He said the project should also benefit people in the project area in Masaiti beside the intended areas in the four districts.
The project is aimed at improving water supply in Ndola, Luanshya, Mpongwe and Masaiti Districts, targeting 678, 800 beneficiaries.
The water supply system project will see about 160, 000 cubic meters of water extracted from the 125 million cubic meter dam every day to supply the four towns.
Speaking in the same briefing Minister of Finance Bwalya Ng’andu said government will prioritise funding water projects that have reached advanced levels.
Dr Ng’andu said provision of water to the people is very importance hence the resolve by government to consider completing all the water projects that needs to be completed.
“Water is very important, I think it’s next to air. We all need water. There a number of water project going on but will prioritise projects that have advanced,” Dr Ng’andu said.
The Minister said he was invited to the Kafulafuta Dam project by the President so that he can get first-hand information in order to see how resources can be sourced to finish the remaining 16 percent.
Meanwhile Kafubu Water and Sanitation Managing Director Athanasius Mwaba said the remaining 16 per cent of the project is very important because it’s the final phase which will see the supply of water to the project beneficiaries.
Engineer Mwaba said failure to complete the project on time will be a loss to government as the infrastructure can be vandalised.
He said people are eager to see the project completed so that they can been connected to the water supply system.
He said the project will have a huge number of new connections in Dola hill and Bwana Mukubwa area where people are currently not connected to the water supply system.
He said the remaining 16 months required about US$11 million before the works stopped saying the amounts has now escalated to US$26 million.
He disclosed that further delays will result in the amount to be paid to the contractors to increase because of penalties.
The water project which is meant to increase water supply hours from an average of 18 hours to 24 hours per day was launched by President Lungu in September 2018.
Once complete, the project will increase Kafubu Water Supply and Sanitation Company’s customer base from 504, 000 to 678, 800 and further improve the Utility’s revenue base.
Major works on the project involves the construction of a 125 million cubic meter Kafulafuta Multi – Purpose Dam and intake tower which jas almost been completed while the transmission main from the intake to midway pump station has been completed.
While in Masaiti District the President also met Chieftainess Malembeka of the Lamba speaking people.
The Kafulafuta Water Supply System Project, which is being undertaken by China National Complete Engineering Corporation has employed more than 1, 000 people and is originally expected to be complete by April, 2022.
Source: Lusaka Times