Members of Parliament on Tuesday passed a bill in which government was seeking to borrow K9 billion (US$21 897 810) from the African Development Fund (ADF) to partly finance drilling of 450 boreholes and construction of 166 toilets at trading centres and markets across the country.
The Loan Authorisation Bill – christened by critics as Zimbudzi Transformation’ bill -was tabled by Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development Goodall Gondwe.
Gondwe said government is expected to borrow an additional $7.5 million from the African Development Bank (AfDB) through the Nigeria Trust Fund and a grant of $4.65 million and government is expected to contribute $3.7 million in kind.
Malawians will start repaying the loans after a 10-year grace period for 30 years at a 0.5 percent interest.
“This loan will help to spur socioeconomic d e v e l o p m e n t f o r marginalised rural groups. It will help to increase resilience of water supply system,” Gondwe said.
Former ruling People’s Party MP Patrick Makina called it “ a useful project”, but said there is need to expand it to other districts aprt from Rumphi, Nkhotakota, Nthceu will benefit from the loan.
United Democratic Front (UDF) spokesperson on finance David Lali who demanded an explanation on how the five districts were identified supported the “important” bill.
“As UDF, we believe in transforming the country’s economy. A healthy nation is a prosperous nation and we believe through improving the water and sanitation sector the country will achieve that goal,” said Lali.
Finance Minister told parliament that the loan will help promote sanitation and hygiene through construction of 166 toilets in markets and trading centres by sex and to include those for the physically disabled.
Gondwe said the money will be used to construct staff houses and develop training and monitoring and evaluation systems.
According to Finance Minister, under the component of water infrastructure development, “there will be rehabilitation of 12 gravity-fed water supply systems and construction of 450 boreholes not covered by the gravity-fed systems.”Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :