Ministry of Water Development and Sanitation convenes discussions geared towards the launch of a multi- billion-dollar Water Investment framework for Zambia

A two-day meeting convened - March 23 and 24 - by Zambia’s Ministry of Water Development and Sanitation, has recommended key water investment focus areas that will form the composition of the Zambia Water Investment Programme (ZIP), to be launched in July 2022, on the margins of the African Union Heads of State Summit in Lusaka.

Three investment focus areas proposed as the main thematic areas include the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 6) and the Water Energy and Food (WEF) Nexus Investments; Resilience Building through Water; and Water and Sanitation Governance and Institutional Strengthening. The water, energy and food nexus refers to the inter linkages between water energy and food security, because actions in any one of these three areas has effects in the other two. The three sectors are seen as key for human well-being, poverty reduction and sustainable development.Resilience building through water involves building the capacity of communities and society to withstand and recover quickly from water related hazards associated with climate change and climate variations such as extreme temperatures, floods and droughts.

In a statement read on behalf of the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Water Development and Sanitation Mr Joe Kalusa, who is also the Chairperson of the Technical Working Group for the Water Investment Program, Mr. Louis Mwansa, Director of Planning and Information at the Ministry said that the Technical Working Group was one of the Strategic Platforms in the Water Sector which was key to engaging all stakeholders. He further stated that this was the platform that was set up to monitor the implementation of programs on water resources development and management, and water supply and sanitation in order to ensure the attainment of set objectives. Mr.Mwansa also said that the technical working group provided an opportunity for the Ministry and various stakeholders in the Water Sector to interact,

The meeting brought together representatives of Government departments and water sector development partners, including UNICEF, the Global Water Partnership Southern Africa (GWPSAF), GIZ, WaterAid and local NGO WASH Forum, to review and revise the substantive contents that should be reflected in the Zambia Water investment Program, in line with Zambia's aspirations of becoming a prosperous middle-income country by 2030. GWPSAF under the Africa Coordination Unit is instrumental in developing the Investment Program for Zambia.

Executive Secretary of GWPSAF, Alex Simalabwi, gave the keynote presentation on the Continental Africa Water Investment Program (AIP), the umbrella under which ZIP will fall. The Program was adopted by the African Union in February 2021. It aims to leverage USD30 billion a year by 2030 for water investments in Africa and help create at least 5 million jobs mainly for vulnerable youth and women who are normally marginalized in investments of water and sanitation. Latest UNICEF and World Bank joint statistics indicate that over 4.8 million people in Zambia have no access to clean water.

UNICEF's Chief of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) for Zambia, Mrs. Emily C. Rand, representing the World Bank Group and other cooperating partners, said that given the low budget and execution rate, actual WASH spending averaged just 0.4 percent of GDP. This is well below the amount needed to reach Zambia's 2030 targets. There is a crucial need for more funding in the WASH sector in Zambia.

Funding requirements for the Zambia Water Investment Program are likely to increase from the initial estimated USD5.75 billion to almost USD12 Billion by 2030 and beyond. The Ministry of Water Development and Sanitation will convene another working session between 30 th May and 3 rd June 2022, to finalize the revised program which will be submitted to GWPSA to review and standardize into an investment program document. A final draft will be presented to Minister Mike Mposha for review before submitting it for Cabinet approval and endorsement by President Hakainde Hichilema in readiness for the launch event in July.

A similar Program was launched in Zanzibar in March 2022 at a high-level conference hosted by the President of Zanzibar and Chairman of the Revolutionary Council, HE Dr. Dr. Hussein Ali Mwinyi, and the Chairperson of GWPSAF and former president of Tanzania, HE Jakaya Kikwete. The Zanzibar Water Investment program will mobilize $ 665.5million between 2022-2027 towards securing clean and sustainable water supply for the island's population and fast-growing economy.

The AIP aims to transform and improve the investment outlook of water security and sustainable sanitation in Africa by 2030 and Zambia is expected to benefit tremendously from this initiative.

For the full Press Release, please click here.