GOVERNMENT has paid K3.1 billion out of K6.2 billion to the contractor carrying out emergency works for water reticulation in Nyimba District.
The Government awarded a contract to China Gansu for the drilling of boreholes following the drying up of Chikuyu Dam in the district.
Local Government Deputy Minister Forrie Tembo disclosed during the launch of the water works in Nyimba on Tuesday that the advance payment of K3.1 billion was to allow the contractor to execute the job of drilling emergency boreholes in the area.
Mr Tembo said the emergency works were prompted due to the drying up of Chikuyu Dam which was the only source of water in Nyimba.
He said when Government, advised by the Eastern Water and Sewerage Company (EWSC) on the imminent drying up of the dam, the Ministry of Local Government and Housing decided to immediately initiate interventions before the phase two project could commence.
"The interventions were to sink four boreholes, make an accessible road to the boreholes, and ensure that power is installed and thereafter take water to the people in the boma," he said.
Mr Tembo said his ministry had also advertised for phase two projects to allow contractors to tender for works to improve water supply and sanitation in Chadiza and Nyimba districts respectively.
He said other districts where similar projects had taken place such as Lundazi, Petauke and Mambwe in Eastern Province and Chama in Muchinga Province were receiving water for 22 hours on daily basis.
He commended cooperating partners such as KFW and traditional leaders for their support to Government projects.
And Nyimba District Commissioner George Phiri said several women in Nyimba had been spending time on queues waiting for their turn to draw water from the boreholes.
He said the drilling of the industrial boreholes would improve the water reticulation and water supply in urban residential areas like police, prisons, hospital, Vikonde, Samora Machel, Riverside and Government institutions.
He said peri-urban areas such as Katenthe, Kapusa and Mtendere could as well be supplied with adequate water through kiosks.