WASHINGTON DC- TUESDAY, January 16, 2018 – Minister of Infrastructure and Housing Ronald Chitotela says Government has earmarked to build 5,000 (five thousand) houses for civil servants starting from the second quarter of this year. The Minister said this follows a directive by His Excellency Mr. Edgar Chagwa Lungu, President of the Republic of Zambia to the Ministry of Infrastructure and Housing to build houses for civil servants and upgrade most of the unplanned settlements across the country. Mr. Chitotela said following the recent Census Report which has projected a housing deficit of over 1.5 million, President Lungu has emphasized that while the Government is doing a lot in implementing road projects across the country, there is need for the Ministry of Infrastructure and Housing to strike a balance in the implementation of projects in the construction sector.
The Minister said Zambia risk reaching a housing deficit of up to 3 million by 2030 if nothing is done. He added that in addressing the housing challenge, Government we will also tackle water borne diseases like Cholera which have been recorded in some unplanned settlements in the country. Mr. Chitotela said Government will also upgrade areas like Chawama, Misisi, Kuku, Chibolya and Kanyama compounds to decent housing units with access to safe and clean drinking water. He said the project will start in Lusaka and then spread to other provinces of the country. The Minister said this in Washington D.C. where went to attend meetings on infrastructure development of the housing units project following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding in August last year with Mercury Asset Partners, a global financing, and logistics company. Mr. Chitotela further said Mercury Asset Partners has also proposed to establish a Construction Bank in Zambia to support the Construction sector.
He says the opening of the Bank will empower Zambian contractors facing financing challenges in implementing construction projects in the country. And Mercury Asset Partners, founder, and co-director Julie Bwalya has disclosed that a US$ 600 million financing has been proposed to undertake the construction of the 5,000 houses. He said the houses will comprise of High, Medium and low Cost housing units for civil servants in Zambia. Ms. Bwalya further noted that Mercury Asset Partners is also investing in the energy sector under the Multi-Facility Economic Zone in Lusaka South to set up a factory plant of solar water heaters in Zambia. Ends/MHID