Friday, November 28, 2008

World Bank extends $50m CEP

World Bank extends $50m CEP
Written by Maluba Jere and Agness Changala
Friday, November 28, 2008 10:23:34 AM

THE World Bank has extended the US $50 million Copperbelt Environmental Project (CEP) for another 20 months, communications specialist Mumbuna Kufekisa has said.

In an interview yesterday, Kufekisa said the World Bank team that recently visited the country extended the five year project that would now wind up in March 2010.

“The World Bank has extended the closing date of the Project for another 20 months. This follows a request of extension of the Project from the Zambian government communicated by then Minister of Finance and National Planning Ng’andu Magande in March this year to the Bank,” he said. “And more money will be released in a separate amendment for re-allocation.”

Kufekisa explained that the first Development Credit Agreement establishing the CEP which ran for five years was signed in April 2003 and was supposed to have ended on August 31, this year.

Kufekisa said over US $20 million had already been spent on some of the projects approved by the steering committee.

“The extension of the project is a welcome concept because most projects require a lot of consultancy, so now the time that may have been lost during that period will be reclaimed,” he said.

Kufekisa said it would have been difficult to fulfill the mandate of the project had it not been extended.

He explained that the project had 34 sub projects of which only 16 had been undertaken, adding that the extension would ensure the completion of the remaining tasks.

Some of the projects which have been completed or have reached an advanced stage include the Kafue River Water Quality Monitoring, Kabwe Community Water Supply Project, Kabwe Scoping and Design study.

The CEP also monitors the extent and level of lead poisoning in Kabwe after the closure of the mine and the Geotechnical and Safety Review of Copperbelt Tailings Dumps.

”The objectives of the Project are to assist the government of Zambia in addressing environmental liabilities and obligations associated with the mining sector following the privatization of the mining assets of ZCCM [Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines] and strengthening the capacity of its environmental regulatory institutions to improve future compliance of the mining sector with environmental and social regulations,” said Kufekisa.

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