North-Western Water and Sewerage Company has signed a K16 million contract with Membrane Filtrations Technik (MFT) for water supply upgrade project in Solwezi.
The project would lead to over 30,000 Solwezi residents benefiting, in addition to the 48,000 that receive water in the existing water network.
The water utility firm has acquired a loan from Invest Trust Bank to finance the project which would be repaid with interest in four years.
The Solwezi water supply upgrade project is scheduled for completion in the next five months.
Speaking during the signing ceremony held at Kansanshi Hotel in Solwezi, North-Western permanent secretary Amos Malupenga said water was becoming a scarce commodity in the fast growing town of Solwezi.
Mr. Malupenga said it was a delight that NWWSC had been making frantic efforts to plan and invest in water infrastructure in order to meet the growing demand in Solwezi district and the entire province in general.
“A town such as Solwezi cannot grow without developing water infrastructure at the same rate,” he said.
Mr Malupenga said with Government’s desire to transform Solwezi into a city there will be need for more investments in water infrastructure.
The PS has urged the water utility firm to include alternative power sources to avert the current deficits of power for continued water supply to all residents.
And NWWSC managing director Arnold Chilwesa said the project would increase quality water supply to residents in Solwezi district and North-Western Province at large.
He said the project would improve storage capacity in order to proactively maintain continuous water supply during power outages.
Mr. Chilwesa said by next month the utility firm would begin to supply water to Kansanshi mine.
“Through this, areas such as Mushitala, Kazomba, Airport area and Chawama among others will also benefit.” he said.
Mr Chilewesa called on Government to quickly settle the K19.2 million owed to the utility company. Also at the same event was MTF chief executive officer Frank Jacobs who said his firm was delighted to be working with the local based utility firm to ensure adequate access to clean water.
Mr Jacobs assured all stakeholders that his company would strive to deliver excellence.
He also said the equipment does not necessary rely on electricity but could utilize other sources of energy to produce at the same capacity.
Meanwhile, the financier of the project Invests Trust Bank expressed confidence in the water utility firm.
Invest Trust Managing Director Richard Chembe said the bank took great comfort in the standard of projects implemented by the water firm.
He said NWWSC had exceeded the growth performance indicator, which showed that the company was well able to repay the money.
Dr.Chembe said the project was in line with the company’s corporate social responsibility which was to ensure that the people of North-Western Province had access not only to adequate water but also clean water.
MTF and Aquarion of Germany have partnered with NWWSC to provide water machinery and technologies.
MTF will by January 2016 set up an office in Zambia to continue providing sustainable water solutions.