THE European Investment Bank (EIB) has given Zambia 75 million Euros, equivalent to K573 million, to finance the implementation of the Zambia Water and Sanitation project.
Finance Minister Alexander Chikwanda said the loan facility was intended to finance the improvement of water supply and sanitation amenities in three Copperbelt mining towns of Mufulira, Chililabombwe and Chingola.
The loan was designed to recapitalise Mulonga Water and Sewerage Company and would be implemented through the Ministry of Local Government and Housing to enhance income-generating capability for the company.
Mr Chikwanda said the project would go a long way in improving the quality of water supply and sanitation to the people in the towns.
"The finance contract we have signed today will contribute to the realisation of social and economic benefits intended for the people of Zambia through increased access to water and sanitation facilities," he said.
He said the total requirement of the project was 156 million Euros, which would be arranged through a co-financing facility.
"I have no doubt that the finance contract we have signed will contribute to the realisation of social and economic benefits for Zambians through increased access to water and sanitation facilities," he said.
Mr Chikwanda commended the EIB for the support it had continued to render to Zambia's agriculture, transport, energy and water sanitation sectors.
He urged Mulonga Water and Sewerage Company to ensure quick implementation of the project to pave the way for other programmes and to ensure people led healthy lives.
EIB head of regional representation in Southern Africa and Indian Ocean, Carmelo Cocuzza said the organisation was happy to help Zambia's water sector.
He said he was satisfied that the project would help improve the billing system.
"We also intend to assist small and medium enterprises as well as the health sector in Zambia, which is key to development," Mr Cocuzza said.
He called for efficiency in the implementation of the project. Mulonga Water and Sewerage Company acting managing director Kanyembo Ndhlovu pledged to start the implementation of the project by February next year.