KELVIN MBEWE, Lusaka
THE United States of America has granted US$1.8 million dollars to assist 1.2 million people in selected Lusaka townships have access to quality water, sanitation and promote hygienic practices.
The grant has been given to five private sector organisations through the Millennium Challenge Account Zambia Limited (MCA-Zambia).
Beneficiary communities are Chazanga, Jack, Chawama, Kanyama, Matero and Garden among others.
Speaking during the grants award signing ceremony, secretary to the treasury and MCA-Zambia board chairperson Fredson Yamba said the grant will improve the living conditions of the people.
Mr Yamba said the grants are meant to complement the investments of the Lusaka Water Supply, Sanitation and Drainage (LWSSD) project and the work of the Lusaka City Council and Lusaka Water and Sewerage Company in providing solutions in the sectors, including solid waste management.
â€œToday, we celebrate United States and Zambian governmentsâ€™ dedication to prioritising Zambian citizens as primary actors in the drive to improve their living conditions. The grant stresses the importance of reaching out to a nationâ€™s own citizens for help in resolving priority issues,â€ Mr Yamba said.
He urged the recipients to use the money for the intended purposes because it is from American tax payers.
â€œYour respective projects are aimed at alleviating poverty and increasing access to services in selected areas of Lusaka. I, therefore, urge you to implement these projects diligently with full regard that this is American tax payersâ€™ money which cannot be misapplied,â€ he said.
Meanwhile, Betternow Finance Zambia director Noel Nkoma who spoke on behalf of the grantees, said the grants show the level of confidence that has been placed in the private sector.
Mr Nkoma assured the donors that they will deliver beyond everyoneâ€™s expectations.
The companies that have received the grants are Zambian Breweries, Water and Sanitation Zambia, MECB Consultancy, Solid Tech Systems and Betternow Finance Zambia.
The companies will undertake various innovative projects in the beneficiary townships.
KELVIN MBEWE, Lusaka