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LUSAKA, July 5 (Xinhua) — Japan will give Zambia a 15 million U.S. dollars grant for ground water development in Luapula Province and the rehabilitation of the road network in Livingstone in Southern province under an agreement signed here Friday.

    Zambian Minister of Finance and National Planning Ng’andu Magande signed for Zambia while Japanese Ambassador to Zambia Hideto Mitamura did so on behalf of his country, according to Zambia Daily Mail.

    “Under the ground water improvement project, 200 boreholes will be drilled and equipped with hand pumps. It is estimated that a total of 50,000 people in 290 villages will use these water points,” Magande said.

    Magande said the Zambian government was disappointed that beneficiaries of the project did not have interest in maintaining public water utility facilities because there was little sense of ownership even when everyone knew that water was life.

    “Even when a small part of the equipment breaks down, the users are not prepared to sacrifice and buy spare parts. In many instances, children are allowed to play with these vital installations. We cannot continue with this I-do-not care attitude,” he said.

    On the technical aspects, Magande said the government would continue building capacity in communities for them to be able to repair the equipment.

    Magande said the grant would as such include a component of sanitation and health education as this was vital for increased sustainability of the project.

    He said with the sinking of new boreholes, the coverage of clean water supply in the province would rise to 20 percent from the current 17 percent, which would be a significant contribution to the government’s efforts in improving the delivery of water supply and sanitation services to rural communities.

Editor: Du Guodong