Plans to construct a dual carriageway bridge on the Luapula river to connect Mwense district to Lubumbashi in the Democratic Republic of
Congo (DRC) have reached an advanced stage.
Mwense District Commissioner Geoffrey Chipampata, who disclosed the development in an interview with ZANIS in Mwense today, said the project is likely to begin mid next year.
Mr. Chipampata said so far, the feasibility studies have been done while the social impact assessment study will be completed by July next year.
He explained that the project will be implemented under the Private Public Partnership (PPP) by Groupe Europeen de Development (GED) Africa with a concession period of 25 years.
Mr. Chipampata further said the construction of the bridge will be the first PPP project in the country adding that it will have regional benefit to the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region.
He revealed that the project will include the upgrading of the Kashiba–Mwenda road to bituminous standard. This road will link Mwense district to Lubumbashi in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Furthermore, the DC disclosed that the project is estimated to cost US$600 million and will be completed in 36 months.
And Mr. Chipampata said the project will provide economic and social benefits during the construction and operational phases.
He highlighted capacity building for women and the youth in construction, hiring, training and employing of local people, providing HIV and AIDS testing and clean drinking water
along the route.
Once completed, the project will create new trade market place, reduce congestion at Kashiba border while temporary camps will be handed over to government to be turned into schools or health centres.
The DC said the contractor will also build schools, health centres and sporting facilities along the way as part of its corporate social responsibility.