20 March 2014

Zambia Lands K39 Million for Climate Change

THE Nordic Development Fund has given Zambia a grant of K39 million for the climate change resilience project.

Finance Minister Alexander Chikwanda signed the grant agreement with Nordic Development Fund (NDF) programme manager Johanna Palmberg in Lusaka yesterday.

Mr Chikwanda described the grant as a step in the right direction which would help the country and the region structure investments that would be able to counter the effects of climate change.

The grant agreement was a continuation of related activities signed on June 14 and December 18, 2013 in Mongu and Choma, respectively, for the strengthening of climate resilience in the Barotse and Kafue sub-basin.

The minister bemoaned the hampering of Zambia's development by inadequate and dysfunctional infrastructure, saying no country could develop without appropriate and adequate infrastructure.

"We have backlogs of infrastructure deficiencies and, consequently, tackling infrastructure deficits is very prominent on the Patriotic Front Government's ambitious development agenda," Mr Chikwanda said.

He said it was important to ensure that infrastructure was constructed to the highest specifications and standards to guarantee reasonable levels of structural integrity.

Mr Chikwanda said the K39 million grant by the NDF would go a long way in developing codes and standards for infrastructure development in the road transport sector. He said climate factors like high rainfall, high temperature and other related factors would always impact on infrastructure.

He commended the Nordic countries for being Zambia's natural ally and reinforcing the country towards meaningful development.

Ms Palmberg said the grant agreement, which was the first of its kind, would go a long way in polishing Zambia's infrastructure amidst climate change.

"We hope that the funds will provide technical assistance in roads and other infrastructure so that investments made at a huge cost will be protected," she said.

Finland Ambassador to Zambia Pertti Antinen said the grant would add value to projects in the face of climate change.

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