Zim secures $53m grants

HARARE - Zimbabwe has secured a total $53,4 million in grants targeted at financing projects including power generation, infrastructure and water sanitation rehabilitation, among others.

The finances were availed by donors through the country’s multi-donor trust fund, ZimFund, and the African Development Bank (AfDB).

ZimFund ? consisting of contributing donors namely Australia, Denmark, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom — will provide $39, 9 million for three of the targeted six projects while the remaining will be financed by the AfDB at a total $13,5 million.

Mateus Magala, AfDB’s resident representative, said funding the projects will increase the continental lender’s active portfolio in Zimbabwe from $113,5 million to $166 million.

“This will expand the range and extent of our activities in support of the recovery of Zimbabwe’s economy through capacity building and also protecting assets and lives by investing in critical infrastructure such as water and power,” he said following signing of the deal yesterday.

Magala added that the projects were consistent with the bank’s group 10-year strategy, aiming to place it at the centre of Africa’s transformation.

Out of the total funds, $15,4 million is set to be channelled towards emergency power infrastructure rehabilitation project phase two while a supplementary grant worth $4,1 million will be provided for the phase one.

“The objective of these projects is to rehabilitate power transmission and distribution facilities throughout Zimbabwe and the rehabilitation of the Ash Handling Plant at the Hwange Power Station,” said Magala, adding that the envisaged outcomes of the intervention include improved environmental management and ash handling at the power station.

“We also envisage improved reliability of sub-transmission and distribution networks, and improved electricity supply to the water treatment plants of City of Harare and other targeted urban water supply systems,” he said.

Zimbabwe is currently experiencing a crippling power deficit which has hit both domestic and commercial consumers.

The country is generating approximately 1 200 megawatts (MW) against demand of about 2 200MW.

Magala noted that phase two of urgent water supply and sanitation rehabilitation project’s physical implementation will focus on Harare while preparatory activities for Chitungwiza, Redcliff and Ruwa will be carried out.

“The project aims to protect public health and rehabilitate the water and sanitation infrastructure in these cities,” he said adding that financial resources were currently being mobilised for stage two of the Phase and will be committed once the funds have been fully made available.

“The project will be implemented over a period of 36 months benefitting a total population of 1,9 million. The project will go a long way in alleviating the water supply and sanitation stress currently being experienced in Zimbabwe’s urban centres,” said Magala.

Speaking at the same occasion, Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa said government will ensure that the projects are expeditiously implemented.

“I call upon all beneficiary institutions to ensure smooth implementation of the projects by providing all the necessary support,” he said.

Eight million dollars has been committed to the governance and institutional strengthening project aimed at improving transparency and effectiveness in public finance and economic management while $4,1 million will be channelled to the Youth and Tourism enhancement project as part of efforts towards reduction of poverty and youth unemployment through the creation of an enabling environment.

A transport sector master plan study to be funded under the African Development Fund will be financed to the tune of $1,3 million to provide a strategic framework and investment plan for sustainable development of the transport infrastructure and services to support growth and wealth creation.


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