China-funded projects, investments transforming Zambian lives
LUSAKA -- There is no doubt that any investment a country attracts will result in the transformation of not only the economy but people's lives as well.
There is, therefore, no doubt that Chinese overseas investment has gone a long way in transforming not only economies around the world but in improving people's lives.
Zambia is an example where Chinese-funded projects and investments are transforming lives.
For instance, the construction of a 750 megawatts power project in Zambia funded by the Exim Bank of China as well as other financiers has not only enabled the country to become energy secure but has had an impact on the lives of the people.
Construction works of the Kafue Gorge Lower Hydropower Station situated in Chikankata district, about 90 kilometers from Lusaka, the country's capital, started in 2015 and already both socio and economic benefits are being seen.
Apart from the creation of about 4,000 jobs during the construction period, the project, once fully completed, will provide another 400 permanent jobs.
The project has also seen spillover effects in other industries such as suppliers of steel as well as consultancy services while local people are benefiting through the provision of various small businesses such as selling foodstuffs to construction workers.
Senior Chieftainess Nkhomeshya Mukamambo II, under whose chiefdom the project is located, is grateful that the project will not only enhance power generation but also benefit local people who have been employed.
She commended China for the support, adding that China has been an "all-weather friend" to Zambia even in times of difficulties.
The residents of the districts are happy with the project as it has transformed their lives.
Agnes Bwenvya, a 24-year-old resident of the district is among other residents that are benefiting from the project.
Bwenvya, who is involved in the business of selling foodstuffs, says construction workers have become her major customers resulting in her business improving.
"This project has been good to me as a single mother of one child. I am now able to take care of myself and my child because business is now growing," she said.
Anderson Zulu, a 21-year-old resident is one of the casual workers employed during the construction of the power plant said he is elated that his life has been transformed from the time he started working.
"The salary I am getting here has enabled me to take care of my needs and I am so happy that now I have a regular income," he said.
Zebedia Hampande is one of the residents employed as a driver at the construction site and he is happy that he now has a regular income, which is making him take care of his family.
Liu Kai, a representative of Sinohydro, said his company is committed to improving the living standards of the people within the locality of the project.
He said apart from the creation of jobs, a school has since been built while boreholes have been drilled to ease people's problems of access to clean water.
The company, he said, has also trained 350 local people as technicians at the project while some have been sent to China for training, adding that the company has planned more projects for the community.