CABINET has approved the borrowing of US$114 million for the rehabilitation of the cracking Kariba Dam wall to avert any possible catastrophe in the region.
Out of the total amount, US$39 million will be sourced from the African Development Bank (AfDB) while US$75 million will be sourced from the World Bank.
Chief Government spokesperson Chishimba Kambwili said this at a press briefing in Lusaka yesterday.
This was after a Cabinet meeting at State House.
Mr Kambwili, who is also Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services, said the rehabilitation should be urgently undertaken to avoid a disaster.
The rehabilitation was being undertaken by the governments of Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Mr Kambwili said the Kariba Dam facility was vital to the economy of Zambia and the region.
“The rehabilitation project is vital to the economy of Zambia and the sub-region and should urgently be undertaken to avoid emergency situations. Given the large reservoir capacity of the dam, its collapse would result in a catastrophe of large consequences to economies in the sub-region,” he said.
Mr Kambwili said the funds should be lent to the Zambezi River Authority to facilitate commencement of the project.
He also said Cabinet also approved the contraction of US$15.5 million from AfDB to support the implementation of the transforming rural livelihoods – National Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Project phase II projects in Western Province.
Mr Kambwili said 16 districts would benefit from the water and sanitation projects in the province.
He said the project would alleviate poverty and improve lives of the people in the rural areas by providing clean drinking water and improve sanitation.
“The project will contribute to poverty alleviation and improve the health of Zambia’s rural population through the provision of sustainable access to water supply and sanitation.
“The decision was made in order for Government to remain focused on its pro-poor policies,” Mr Kambwili said.
The minister said Cabinet also approved a nine-man governing board of the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA).
Mr Kambwili said the appointment of the board was in line with section 10 (1) of the ZRA Act Chapter 321 of the Laws of Zambia.
He said the previous board was appointed in November 2011 for a three-year term which expired in October last year.
He said President Edgar Lungu directed that in the interest of transparency, it was important that the public were made aware of policy decisions made by Cabinet after such meetings.