Zambia: Chirundu road gets $75m World Bank loan support

THE World Bank will provide approximately US$ 75 million in loan financing support towards the upgrading of the Chirundu road, country manager for Zambia Kapil Kapoor has said.

Dr Kapoor said the bank was in the process of effecting the support for investment in the Chirundu road following a request from the Government.

In response to a Press query, Dr Kapoor said the World Bank's strategy was aimed at helping Zambia bridge its large infrastructure gap, especially in areas such as roads, water and energy.

He said the bank was also working on additional financing for the water sector as well as providing additional budget support.

Dr Kapoor said the World Bank would in the next six months be working closely with the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives to prepare a smallholder irrigation project.

The total amount for the project would be determined at a later stage.

We expect this to be an investment of about $50 million towards the irrigation project, Dr Kapoor said.

He also said the World Bank and other cooperating partners had recently approved an Increased Access to Electricity project which would provide about $100 million for the energy sector in Zambia.

The Government has already signed a $75 million project financing agreement with the World Bank aimed at increasing access to electricity services, efficiency and quality of the country's electricity distribution system.

The project will assist Zesco implement a cost-effective short-term response to mitigate the current power shortage and facilitate expansion.

Once the project is implemented, it will connect 18,000 new customers in Northern, Central and Eastern provinces.

The current rate of access to electricity in Zambia is only 20 per cent nationwide and three per cent in rural areas.

The Government intends to increase this to 50 per cent by 2030.  – Times of Zambia

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