The Luano local authority has started the process of procuring five banana boats at a cost of K87, 500 to ferry pupils to access education in the rainy season across the Mulungushi and Lunsemfwa rivers.
Luano District Council chairperson Gabriel Mwami said it had been difficult for pupils to cross the two rivers in the rain season and the boats would help them attend school.
He said the hard-hit areas were Mbosha and Chembe chiefdoms across the two rivers.
Reverend Mwami said it was hectic for paddlers to pound the waters covering 10 to 20 kilometres using dugout canoes that only accommodated two people and a few belongings.
"The council in Luano has sent officers to Lusaka to purchase five banana boats, each is costing K17, 500 and the main reason is that we want to do away with the use of dugout canoes that have been exposing our children to accidents. The other problem with dugout canoes is that they cannot accommodate many people except for two, so it is very difficult usually during the rainy season for our pupils to cross the Mulungushi River to go to Liteta and those who cross the Lunsemfwa River to go Chembe on the other side to access education," Rev Mwami said.
Rev Mwami said in an interview that the local authority had put in place measures to help the school going children.
He said the boats would not only benefit the pupils, but service surrounding communities as well, thereby spurring development as more goods would now be ferried to Luano on time and in large quantities.
Rev Mwami said that the exodus from using dugout canoes to banana boats was just an iceberg on how committed the local authority had become adding that more things were yet to be done in the area.
"We hope to open up Luano to the rest of the world as you know the area has mineral deposits and its potentiality to agriculture can never be over emphasised," he said.