Photo taken on July 29, 2022 shows a building of the Kafue Bulk Water Supply Project in Kafue, Lusaka Province, Zambia. (Xinhua/Martin Mbangweta)
Zambia on Friday commissioned a Chinese-funded project that would benefit about half a million people by giving them access to clean and safe water as well as proper sanitation in the capital city Lusaka.
KAFUE, Zambia, July 30 (Xinhua) -- Zambia on Friday commissioned a project financed by China aimed at improving water supply and sanitation in Lusaka, the Zambian capital.
The 150 million U.S. dollars phase-one Kafue Bulk Water Supply Project financed by the Export-Import Bank of China (China Exim Bank) and constructed by China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) would ensure that about 500,000 people in the Zambian capital have access to clean and safe water as well as proper sanitation.
It involved the construction of an intake structure, treatment plant, booster station and transmission lines to deliver a total of 50,000 cubic meters of water per day.
The commissioning ceremony was attended by President Hakainde Hichilema and Chinese Ambassador to Zambia Du Xiaohui, as well as officials from the Chinese firm.
Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema (C) addresses the commissioning ceremony of the Kafue Bulk Water Supply Project in Kafue, Lusaka Province, Zambia, on July 29, 2022. (Xinhua/Martin Mbangweta)
The Chinese Ambassador commended the Chinese firm and other stakeholders for successfully completing the project which will go a long way in improving access to safe and clean drinking water for residents of the Zambian capital, saying the project was meant to solve the problem that the original water supply system faced of not meeting the demand for water in the capital.
According to him, the water supply capacity of the project will provide people in the capital with sufficient, healthy and clean water, and it has also contributed to the creation of local employment and enhanced capacity building.
He said nearly 1,000 local people were employed and trained at the peak of the construction of the project.
Hichilema praised China for financing the construction of the water plant, saying it symbolizes China's sincerity in pursuit of the greater good and shared interest in improving the quality of life of people.
Photo taken on July 29, 2022 shows the interior of the Kafue Bulk Water Supply Project in Kafue, Lusaka Province, Zambia. (Xinhua/Martin Mbangweta)
The Zambian president also urged water utility companies in the country to find more innovative ways of efficiently and effectively using water in order to avoid wastage in view of the challenges brought by climate change.
"For example, once the water has been used in our households, we should find ways to harness it again for other uses such as agriculture purposes," he said.
Hichilema, who is also the Global Cholera Control Champion, said he takes seriously the levels of water and sanitation resources as this poses a threat and enables the outbreak of waterborne diseases. He pledged that his government would continue investing in the water sector in order to ensure equitable access to clean and safe drinking people for all as proper sanitation.
Eric Ding, the general manager of the CCECC Zambia, thanked the Zambian government and the local people for their support during the construction period.
He, however, said more financing will be required to undertake the second phase of the project to increase the water supply to the Zambian capital due to the increased population which requires more water. ■