14 January 2013

Zambia: Govt Determined to Finish Road Rehab

THE Government will continue to source funds to complete the ongoing upgrading and construction of major roads countrywide.

Transport, Works, Supply and Communications Minister Christopher Yaluma said the Government would ensure that the road construction and rehabilitation programme was completed in all parts of the country.

The minister observed that the exercise was a mammoth one but indicated that it was not insurmountable.

Mr Yaluma said construction of some major roads had delayed because funds were diverted to other projects during the MMD administration.

He was speaking at the weekend when he paid a courtesy call on Northern Province Minister, Gerry Chanda who complained that several roads in the area were in a deplorable condition.

"My ministry is responsible for ensuring that Zambians have improved road infrastructure and I want to assure you that we are working to upgrade all major roads as soon as possible," Mr Yaluma said.

He said Government was concerned about the increased road traffic accidents occurring on major roadways such as the Isoka-Chinsali Road.

He said a good road network was essential to accelerating development and promoting trade.

Mr Yaluma said Government had made the upgrading of various road infrastructure a top priority as recently evidenced by the launch of the Link-Zambia 8000 project.

He said Government has engaged contractors to tar about 171 kilometres of Kasama-Mporokoso Road at KR421 million (K421 billion) and 110 kilometres of Kasama-Mbesuma Road at KR268 million (K268 billion).

Other roads are the 171.9-kilometre Mbala-Nakonde Road, 96-kilometre Kasama-Luwingu at KR 244 million (K244 billion) and the upgrading of 18 kilometres of urban township roads in Kasama at KR 60 million (K60 billion).

Earlier, Colonel Chanda said despite several investment opportunities in Northern Province, the area had remained underdeveloped because of the poor state of infrastructure.

He, however, appealed to various investors to take advantage of Zambia's favourable investment opportunities such as tourism.

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