VICE-PRESIDENT George Kunda has announced that Government will this year rehabilitate more than 130 bridges under the countrywide fast-track emergency infrastructure rehabilitation programme to improve accessibility of goods and services to peole.
Mr Kunda said in Katete yesterday that this project will be undertaken by the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU), Zambia Army, Zambia National Service, Road Development Agency (RDA) and the Rural Roads Unit (RRU).
Of the 130 crossing points, 26 are in Eastern Province.
He said this when he commissioned Mayela Bridge, that has been reconstructed by RDA and RRU at a cost of K1 billion.
“This emergency rehabilitation of infrastructure is in line with my Government’s commitment to ensuring that all parts of our country are accessible for easy movement of people, goods and services,” he said.
On the Mayela Bridge, Mr Kunda said the infrastructure was washed away three times and that the community of Chief Kathumba was cut off with people having problems accessing Nyanje Hospital and the school located about 8kms from the crossing point.
He said RDA carried out technical assessment and cost estimates of reconstructing the bridge and submitted the bill of quantities to DMMU, which was then given K1 billion by the Ministry of Finance and National Planning.
Mr Kunda said he is happy that work on the bridge was successfully completed and commended DMMU, RDA and RRU for a job well done.
He said the bridge will also improve people’s access to Mozambique.
Mr Kunda also said DMMU has rehabilitated five culverts in Chipata district and one in Mambwe that were washed away last rainy season.
And the Vice-President has said the DMMU has pre-positioned 3,300 metric tonnes of maize for distribution to vulnerable people in Eastern Province.
“I am reliably informed that this exercise is going on well. In order to warn our people of impending disasters, my office has further been implementing the community-based hazard early warning projects,” he said.
Mr Kunda said Government has distributed 30 solar panels and three motor bikes to the Meteorological Department and Water Affairs to ensure that people are provided with information before disasters occur.
He said Government is also constructing district hospitals in Chadiza, Chama and Lundazi which are at different completion levels on which Government plans to spend about K42 billion.
Mr Kunda said Government is further constructing 21 health posts across Eastern Province at a cost of K1.5 billion.
In the education sector, Mr Kunda said Government is building three high schools which are Kacholola in Nyimba, Chama South in Chama and Kasenengwa in Chipata at a cost of K72 billion.
“These projects are all near completion and will be ready for use before the end of this year. Rehabilitation works were also carried out on Chama Boarding High School at a cost of K23 billion,” he said.
Mr Kunda urged the people of Eastern Province to vote for President Banda and the MMD in this year’s tripartite elections to ensure continuity of development.
[Zambia Daily Mail]