Oct. 3 (Bloomberg) -- Zambia has agreed to a $50 million loan from the World Bank for water projects including the construction of small dams to help moderate damage from drought and floods in the southern African nation.
Without the investments, changing rainfall patterns amid global warming could cost Zambia $4.3 billion over 10 years and keep 300,000 citizens below the poverty line, Kundhavi Kadiresan, country director for Zambia, Malawi and Zimbabwe, said today at a signing ceremony in Lusaka.
“Mitigating the impact of droughts and floods through development of a sound infrastructure platform to secure the productive use of water resources is central to continued economic development,” she said.
Less that 5 percent of Zambia’s arable land is irrigated, Kadiresan said.
Loan proceeds will go toward building and repairing about 100 small dams that will benefit more than 1 million people in rural areas over the next 10 years, she said. The project will also reduce water-borne disease in Zambia, Finance Minister Alexander Chikwanda told reporters.