Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Zambia: USA, Govt to Seal U.S.$350 Million Water Deal

The United States America (US) government will next week sign an agreement with the Zambian Government worth more than US$350 million to improve water and sanitation in the country.

US Ambassador to Zambia Mark Storella announced what he called as one of the biggest funded projects in Zambia on Thursday evening when he hosted a reception for visiting Senators from the US at his residence.

Mr Storella outlined a number of bilateral interactions between Zambia and the US which saw a number of high-ranking dignitaries from the US visiting Zambia in the last few months.
He reiterated that the world admired Zambia's peaceful political transition after last year's elections.

The two visiting Senators, Michael Bradley and Kent Conrad, were the first Senators to come to Zambia since 1999 and were interested to not only witness the peaceful political situation in Zambia, but also to look at how they could work with Government on health issues.

Mr Bradley is a Senior Senator from Wyoming, who has a wealth of experience working on health matters and is a member of the Republican Party.

He is the ranking Republican on the Senate Health, Education, Labour and Pensions Committee which he chaired from 2005 to 2007.

Mr Conrad is the current chairperson of the Senate Budget Committee with wide experience in budgetary, economic and energy issues.

Mr Bradley said it was a pleasure for him and his colleague to visit Zambia so that they could see for themselves how the country was doing in health matters.

"We are also here to witness the peaceful transition that has taken place in this country," he said.

Mr Conrad said even the US had budget challenges but what was important was that the country was able to work together with countries like Zambia.

Health Minister Joseph Kasonde thanked the US government for its continued support to Zambia in various sectors especially in health.

He said the issue of HIV/AIDS had taken centre stage as it was taking away meager resources.

"But now in the area of HIV and AIDS, TB and Malaria, we are aiming at zero infections," Dr Kasonde said.

Finance Minister Alexander Chikwanda, Agriculture Minister Emmanuel Chenda and other senior Government officials attended the function.


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