Saturday 21 December 2013

Zambia Gets US$38M Climate Change Loan From ADB

By Paul Shalala in Choma

Finance Minister Alexander Chikwanda was ton Wednesday in Itezhi-Tezhi and Choma Districts to sign a gloan agreement with the African Development Bank on Climate Change.

Mr Chikwanda, who landed in Itezhi-Tezhi on Wednesday morning, held a meeting with stakeholders at the Itezhi Tezhi District Council Chamber.

He was briefed by the stakeholders that phase two of the Zambia Strengthening Climate Change Resilience Project will greatly benefit the people in the three provinces where it will be implemented.

Some of the stakeholders who welcomed the climate change project were the Zambia Worldlife Authority, the Road Development Agency and the District Administration.

Mr Chikwanda told the meeting that the Project is part of government's resolve to better people's lives.

Later, the Minister flew to Choma for the actual signing ceremony.

Mr Chikwanda and African Development Bank Resident Representative Dr Freddie Kwesiga signed the US$38 million loan.

The five year project is expected to implement community led initiatives that will benefit over 800 rural farmers in nine districts of Central, Southern and Lusaka Provinces.

The project will mainly focus on the Kafue Sub-Basin but it will be extended to as far places as Chibombo, Mumbwa and Choma.

Over 127 kilometers of roads are also expected to be constructed to help farmers transport their goods to nearby markets.

40% Works Done At Itezhi-Tezhi Power Station

By Paul Shalala in Itezhi-Tezhi

Construction of the Itezhi-Tezhi Power Station is moving at an impressive pace.

The US$ 250 million project is being implemented by the Chinese firm Sino hydro.

The project involves the construction of two generators which are worth 60 mega watts of electricity that will be added to the national grid.

350 Zambians have been employed alongside 100 Chinese who are working at the construction site.

Finance Minister Alexander Chikwanda was on Wednesday in Itezhi-Tezhi District to inspect the works.

Mr Chikwanda was told that 40% of the works were already done.

However, Itezhi-Tezhi Power Corporation Technical Manager Kelvin Kamwale expressed concern at the way funding is being disbursed.

But Mr Chikwanda assured Itezhi-Tezhi Power Corporation that all financers have assured him that funding is safe.

All equipment for the project are on site and parts of the components for the two generators have already arrived on site.

Sinohydro is expected to complete the construction and installation of the two generators by mid 2015.

The hand over of the project is expected to take place in October 2015 when the 120 mega watts will be added to the national grid.

Zambia Moves Five Places On Global Corruption Index

 By Paul Shalala

For the fifth consecutive year, Zambia's international rankings on corruption have kept improving.

This status quo is being necessitated by various anti-corruption strategies and programs being implemented by various stakeholders.

The latest Corruption Perception Index has yet again revealed the progress Zambia is making in fighting graft.

The 2013 Index released on 3rd December, 2013 by Transparency International shows that Zambia has moved 5 places on global rankings from 88th in the world to 83.

This follows the gain by 1 point from 37 in 2012 to 38 points this year.

Transparency International Zambia Chapter President Lee Habasonda says the latest rankings are an indication that government has more work to do.

And Chief Government Spokesperson Mwansa Kapeya has described the results of the 2013 Corruption Perception Index as an indication that government's anti-corruption fight is succeeding.

177 countries worldwide were assessed for the CPI and more than two thirds of them failed to score above 50 on a scale of 100.

Overall, the index reveals that abuse of power, secret dealings and bribery continue to ravage societies around the world.

New Zealand and Denmark are this year ranked number one while Afghanistan, North Korea and Somalia are the worst corrupt nations on number 175.

Botswana is Africa's best ranked nation on the Corruption Perception Index at number 30 while Zambia is ranked 13th in Africa.