President Edgar Lungu has today commissioned the newly-completed Mufuchani Bridge on the Kafue River in Kitwe in the Copperbelt Province.
The construction of Mufuchani Bridge cost K63 million and was funded by the World Bank.
This is the fourth big infrastructural development project which President Lungu has commissioned in a space of three months in Zambia.
Within this period, President Lungu commissioned the over K1 billion Mongu-Tapo-Kalabo Road which has a number of bridges along the Barotse flood plains and across the Zambezi river, the Sioma Bridge in Western Province and the Nakonde-Mbala Road project.
President Lungu said the new bridge will lessen the problems which the people used to face going to and from city centre.
He said the bridge will also facilitate the expansion of the city on the eastern side, trigger the construction of housing units and enhance business activities in the area.
“The absence of a permanent crossing point at Mufuchani has not only been a hindrance to the growth and development of Kitwe, but it has also posed serious social problems for our people in this area,” he said.
He said government thought it necessary to end the problems which people faced by constructing the bridge.
“I am exceedingly cheerful that today the new Mufuchani Bridge is a living testimony of the PF government’s commitment to improving people’s living standards through the provision of development of infrastructure,” he said.
President Lungu added, “Those who mock you that you cannot eat roads, tell them that here, the bridge and roads mean more than just eating but saving lives”.
Mr Lungu further said government was planning to upgrade the road from Mufuchani Bridge, which is an earth road, to bituminous standard.
The road, which is approximately 48 km long, will run from Mufuchani Bridge to join the Ndola-Mufulira road (4) and also from the bridge to join the Ndola-Kitwe dual carriageway near ZAMTAN.
“The development of this road will provide a by-pass and most direct route for travellers from Ndola to Mufulira without going through Kitwe town,” he explained.
The President has since announced that the Road Development Agency (RDA) has already awarded a contract to two Zambian engineering consulting firms to conduct techno economic studies and preparation for detailed engineering designs for upgrading the two roads.
He said the engineering consulting companies that have been identified will be announced before the end of this month.
“We do what we promise,” Mr Lungu said.
And President Lungu has condemned the vandalism which is already taking place on the new Mufuchani Bridge.
He said those involved in vandalism should be reported to the police.
Earlier, Minister of Works and Supply, Yamfwa Mukanga, said his ministry was happy with the rate of infrastructural development taking place in the country.
Mr Mukanga said in a speech ready for him by Minister of Justice, Ngosa Simbyakula, that the Patriotic Front (PF) administration has delivered on its promises in terms of infrastructural development.
And Copperbelt Province Minister Mwenya Musenge said the people in the region were grateful to government for fulfilling its promise to build the bridge across Kafue River at Mufuchani.
Mr Musenge said the fulfilment of the promises was a clear testimony that government was desirous about improving people’s lives.
Hundreds of jubilant people living around Mufuchani area turned up to witness the commissioning of the bridge