THE Government has commissioned the newly-constructed Chiawa Bridge and named it after President Michael Sata.
Chieftainess Chiawa proposed to Vice-President Guy Scott when he officiated at the commissioning yesterday that the new bridge, constructed at a cost of K53 million, be named after President Sata.
The Bridge was constructed by China Henan Corporation, with works having started in October of 2012.
"Chieftainess Chiawa proposed to me that the new Chiawa Bridge be named after President Michael Sata and so that is the new name for this bridge," Dr Scott said.
Dr Scott said the new bridge would help exploit the development potential in the Zambezi Valley.
"The process of development is to help the poor as opposed to feeding the eyes. Development is for a purpose and that purpose is to improve lives of poor people," he said.
Dr Scott told foreign operators in the tourism sector in the Lower Zambezi to ensure that Zambians participated as partners in the tourism industry.
"I am warning them to correct the situation within two weeks or they will be thrown out for being insensitive. This cannot be happening after 50 years of being independent," he said.
Transport, Works, Supply and Communications Minister Yamfwa Mukanga said the bridge covered a length of 140 metres and was 10.4 metres wide.
He expressed sorrow over the loss of a life during the construction of the bridge involving an engineer, Gerald Ngulube.
Chinese Ambassador to Zambia, Youming Yang said Zambia had great achievements in maintaining political stability and economic growth.
He said the existing relations between Zambia and China had potential to grow to benefit both countries.
World Bank country representative Kundhavi Kadiresan said the bridge would have significant bearing on the local community as it would serve as a fast access to reach various facilities.
Dr Kadiresan said the Bank's current support to the country amounted to US$570 million covering sectors that were critical to development such as health, transport and agriculture.
Kafue Member of Parliament, Obvious Mwaliteta said the bridge would also help reduce maternal mortality as it would allow smooth referral of patients.
Chieftainess Nkhomeshya Mukamambo II said the bridge would enhance business activities in the area.
Chieftainess Chiawa said President Sata was action-oriented and kind to the rural community, adding that completion of various projects was as a result of his actions, hence he deserved to be honoured by naming the facility after him.
"President Sata is a man of action and we have witnessed several developmental projects and it is a befitting honour and gift on his 77th birthday to name the bridge after him," she said.