Chinese firm, China State Construction Engineering Corporation (CSCEC) has been awarded a US $27m contract for Water and sanitation improvement project in Zambia.
The Chinese firm has since engaged seven local firms as sub-contractors for the project which will see the improvement of water and sanitation services in Northern Province’s two districts of Kasama and Mbala.
According to Northern Province Permanent Secretary Royd Chakaba, the sub-contracting of the Water and sanitation improvement project in Zambia is the fulfillment of the 20% sub-contracting policy in which foreign firms are expected to offer local ones
The PS further added that the government expects Chinese contractor to transfer skills to local contractors as part of the capacity-building program. “The performance of the local contractors in the project will demonstrate their readiness to take up big projects so they should take the opportunity seriously,” he said during the contract signing ceremony.
Chen Xiaobo, acting general manager of the CSCEC, pledged his company’s commitment to share experiences with local contractors.
Water and sanitation in Zambia
Poor water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) are the main causes of infections like cholera and diarrhoea, and inadequate WASH continues to be the leading cause of death of children under the age of five in sub-Saharan Africa. Girls and women are particularly affected by poor WASH conditions. The drudgery of hauling water leads to loss of productivity and leisure time and the lack of toilets negatively impacts their dignity.
Zambia’s high rate of child stunting (35%) is in part a result of poor sanitation. Research indicates that adequate sanitation can decrease the risk of stunting. In Zambian schools, lack of access to adequate water supply, sanitation and washing facilities negatively affects students and contributes to high dropout rates, especially among girls. With separate toilets for girls and boys, and privacy for menstrual hygiene management, girls are more likely to remain in school, delay pregnancy and marriage, and have stronger employment opportunities.