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The European Investment Bank and a grant by the German Development Bank, KfW, will be investing $310 million to the upgrading of sanitation in Zambia. This will all fall under the Lusaka Sanitation Programme.

The funds will assist in accelerating the transformation of public health in the Zambian capital Lusaka by improving access by 525,000 families to sanitation, expanding wastewater treatment at two new plants in Chunga and Ngwerere, and constructing 520km of sewerage pipes

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Eng. Jonathan Kampata, the Managing Director of the Lusaka Water and Sanitation Company, said: “Expanding access to sewerage based sanitation is crucial to protect public health against a variety of waterborne diseases and COVID-19, ensure that thousands of, also poor, families across Lusaka benefit from better services and enable wastewater treatment to continue during either droughts or floods that would be hitting Zambia.”

“The close cooperation with Zambian and international partners, including long-term financing and technical expertise provided by the European Investment Bank and KfW over recent years, is now delivering and contributing to Zambia’s Vision 2030,” Kampata stated.  

Thomas Ostros, the European Investment Bank’s Vice President, said: “The European Investment Bank is pleased to support the ambitious and visionary Lusaka Sanitation Programme that will transform sanitation, public health, economic and social development in the Zambian capital.

“The scale of the project being implemented by the Lusaka Water Supply and Sanitation Company has required intensive technical preparations to maximise the impact of the scheme. Today marks a key milestone in the project that enables the first financing to be provided by EIB and KfW for rehabilitation of two wastewater treatment works in the city and complement other parts of the city-wide scheme already underway.

“Accelerating high-impact sanitation investment is crucial to strengthen public health resilience to COVID-19 and deliver sustainable urban development,” said Ostros.

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Anne Wagner-Mitchell, Ambassador of Germany to Zambia and Special Representative to COMESA, said, “Safe sanitation and hygiene are key aspects of a healthy and dignified life. Universal access to sanitation and hygiene by 2030 is a target of the Sustainable Development Agenda.

“Unfortunately, progress to date has been slow. Access rates to safe sanitation are not increasing fast enough, this amid the COVID-19 pandemic – and not just in Zambia. Increasing the wastewater treatment capacity in Lusaka with support of the German government will form the backbone for upscaling access to safe sanitation and hygiene, particularly for poor households.

“By reducing the ground and surface water contamination the increased wastewater treatment capacity will contribute to improving the quality of scarce water resources.”

Progress unlocking financing from international partners

Progress in technical planning and project preparation for the Lusaka Sanitation Programme has enabled the first $3.2 million to be disbursed by the European Investment Bank and German Development Bank, KfW. This is the first financing from the two international partners for the scheme.

The EIB will provide $121.2 million and $39 million (grant) for the overall project, alongside the World Bank, African Development Bank, European Union, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Government of Zambia.

Long-term sanitation investment to improve public health and social inclusion

Implementation of the Lusaka Sanitation Programme is a key part of the Zambian government’s Vision 2030 and National Development that will improve public health and social inclusion of vulnerable communities and address challenges faced by women and children.

Once complete the Lusaka Sanitation Programme will reduce the prevalence of waterborne disease and pollution in local rivers.

Combating COVID-19 through community involvement

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, the Lusaka Sanitation Programme has strengthened hygiene measures across the city by practising social distancing and changing public perception of hand washing.

Four hundred hand sanitiser stations have been installed in public spaces such as markets, health centres, water points, and places of worship and over 600 water tap attendants have become coronavirus prevention ambassadors.