MILLENNIUM Challenge Account Zambia has signed a US$17.2 million contract with a Portuguese contractor, Construcoes Gabriel Couto, for the construction and rehabilitation of over 2.6 kilometres of drainage in Lusaka’s Mazyopa settlement.
The works are part of the US$355 million Lusaka water supply, sanitation and drainage (LWSSD) project funded by the United States government through the Millennium Challenge Corporation in partnership with the government of Zambia.
MCZ Zambia board chairperson Fredson Yamba said the project was expected to ensure that increased storm water in the township would flow downstream, thereby reducing flooding in affected areas.
Mr Yamba is also secretary to the Treasury in the Ministry of finance, said the Mazyopa residential area was designed in such a way that storm water would drain into the Ngwerere River, thereby safeguarding lives and property.
He said MCA Zambia expected the contractor to work within the timeframe and budget.
“The MCA Zambia expects high quality of service delivery from the contractor. With the contractor’s experience we are confident that the works will be implemented on time and within the budget,” he said.
He urged the Portuguese company to demonstrate their capabilities in the implementation of the project as drains built would be a visible representation of the US investment and Government’s responsibility to the people of Zambia.
And United States ambassador to Zambia Eric Schultz said the project was emblematic of the strong and growing bilateral relations between the United States and Zambia.
Mr Schultz said the project would help address the flooding challenges that occur during the rainy season.
“Today’s signing ceremony marks the completion of the US$355million compact signed between the US and the Zambian Government through the Millennium Challenge Corporation,” he said.
Portuguese ambassador to Zambia Eric Marques said Portugal was happy to work with Zambia through its experienced contractors.
“We are delighted to see that this cooperation exists in Zambia and Portugal, the Portuguese contractors assisting Zambia in times of need,” he said.Lusaka mayor George Nyendwa said the Lusaka City Council would work closely with the communities to ensure that effective solid waste management strategies were put in place.
Mr Nyendwa said the council would continue to provide high quality services, enabling environment and meaningful employment to improve quality of life for everyone who conducted business in Lusaka.
“We do recognize that without solid waste management, the infrastructure improvement of the Bombay drains will be characterized with blockages,” he said.
The contractor’s representative Tiago Rito Couto said the contractor would dedicate all its energy and experience in order to provide quality service.
Mr Couto said the company would implement the programme within the timeframe and the budget.
“It is an honour for our company to have a chance to work with this organization. We will put all our energies and experience so that good results can be achieved,” he said.