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Tunis, 31 October 2006 – The Board of Directors of the African Development Fund (ADF), has approved a loan of 15 million Units of Account (UA*), equivalent to US$ 22 million for the financing of the national Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Programme in Zambia.
The objective of the program is to increase access to safe, reliable and regular supply of water from current levels of 37% to 55% of the rural population by 2010; and to increase access to proper sanitation from 13% to 33% of the rural population by 2010.
The overall goal is to improve the quality of life and productivity of all Zambians by ensuring equitable provision of adequate quantity and quality of water to users and improved sanitation services for all, at acceptable cost and on a sustainable basis, with a view to achieving the Millennium Development Goal for water and sanitation of 75% and 60%, respectively by 2015.
Programme activities fall under four broad components:
Bank Group financing for the program will target the rural population in fifteen districts of Luapula and the northern provinces, assisting them to achieve the MDG targets. The country’s rural, population, estimated at 7.7 million is growing at 2.5% per annum. Out of this number 4.85 million and 6.7 million people do not have access to clean water and sanitation respectively. In Zambia, there is a close correlation between infant mortality and access to potable water and sanitation services. Health statistics in Zambia indicate that diarrhea and other water related diseases are ranked among the top common causes of outpatient care for all age groups because of poor hygiene and sanitation. During the first phase of the program (2006 to 2010), 2.1 million people will be provided access to safe water and 2.3 million people to improved sanitation services.
The Bank Group has to date financed eleven operations in the water supply and sanitation sector (8 projects and 3 studies), for a total amount of UA 93.2 million, equivalent to US$ 137.6 million. The ADB Group began operations in Zambia in 1971. The Bank’s cumulative commitments in the country currently stand at US$ 838.67 million in 79 operations.
* 1 UA = 1.47637 US$ = 5831.69 ZMK as at 31/10/2006