Minister of National Development Planning Honourable Alexander Chiteme, MP, has assured the people of the Central Province that His Excellency Mr. Edgar Chagwa Lungu, President of the Republic of Zambia, is committed to have developmental projects completed within the stipulated periods for the benefit of the people.
Hon. Chiteme said the President is determined to implement development projects that will benefit all Zambians countrywide irrespective of their affiliation.
Hon. Chiteme made the assurance during his inspection of developmental projects in Chibombo, Mumbwa and Itezhi Tezhi Districts in Central Province.
The Minister expressed concern at the slow pace of the implementation of some projects in Chibombo and instructed the district leadership to closely supervise the works.
At the Mwomboshi Dam and Irrigation scheme, Hon. Chiteme expressed satisfaction that the contractor AFECC was eight (8) months ahead of schedule and is expected to complete the project by 15 November or 1 December 2018.
“This is a very good project; a modern dam that will have irrigation facilities. I am very happy that I visited this dam. I have been discussing with the World Bank and this is one of the projects they are happy with. I hope we can replicate the design of this dam in every province,” Hon. Chiteme said.
The minister emphasised to the contractor to transfer skills to Zambians.
“I am glad you’re ahead of schedule.We appreciate that works of the Chinese contractors but we will need you to transfer skills to Zambians so that they can have the capacity to do this work in other projects,” Hon. Chiteme said.
The Mwomboshi Irrigation scheme will empower about 5,000 small scale farmers and about 12 comemrcial farmers in the catchment area.
At Keembe Agro-Processing centre, the Minister was disappointed that the project had stalled and directed the Central Province administration to install the agro-processing equipement.
Hon. Chiteme said the installation of the agro-processing equipement would contribute to value addition to farm produce.
In Mumbwa District, the Minister expressed gratitude with the installation of the solar-powered borehole at Twikatane.
Hon. Chiteme said the borehole will provide clean drinking water, irrigation and other benefits to the people in the catchment area.
In Itezhi Tezhi, Hon. Chiteme expressed satifcation that most development projects were on course and assured the district administration of the Ministry’s support in the implementation.
The Minister inspected the climate resilient road that connects Itezhi-Tezhi, Ngoma, Namwala, Dundumwezi, and Kalomo. The US$19.4 million project is on schedule.
“I am generally happy with the road. They have raised the embarkment, which will ensure the road doesn’t get washed away” he said.
The Minister assured Namwala District Commissioner that the Government will engage the African Development Bank (AfDB) to consider financing the extension of the construction of the climate resilient road to Namwala district headquarters across the pontoon to link the area and Itezhi Tezhi.
During a courtesy call on Chief Shezongo of the Ila people in Itezhi Tezhi, Hon. Chiteme assured the traditional leader that President Lungu is taking development to all areas regardless of the political demographics.
“Thank you very much that you have been able to notice that despite the political landscape not being on our side, the President has continued to urge us the civil servants and his ministers to make sure we put politics aside and work for the development of all Zambians,” said Hon. Chiteme.
Chief Shezongo commended President Lungu for being caring and taking development to all parts of the country, including areas that did not vote for him.
The Chief said Itezhi Tezhi District had received unprecedented number of developmental projects which will benefit his people.