President Edgar Lungu has sent Presidential Affairs Minister Freedom Sikazwe, Disaster Management and Mitigating Unit (DMMU), Road Development Agency (RDA) and defence personnel to go and assess the washed away Lunzua bridge.
The bridge which is about 8 kilometres from Mpulungu town on the Mpulungu-Mbala road (M2) was washed away on Sunday 10th February 2019 following flash floods being experienced in the area.
The flash floods that have taken a toll in the area are a result of the normal to above normal rains experienced in the region.
The team that inspected the bridge yesterday morning comprised Ministry of Defence Permanent Secretary Sturdy Mwale, DMMU National Coordinator Chanda Kabwe, Northern Province Permanent Secretary Elias Kamanga, Housing and Infrastructure Development Permanent Secretary Charles Mushota and defence personnel from Zambia army, Zambia Air (ZAF) Force, and Zambia National Service (ZNS).
Speaking shortly after the inspection, Hon. Freedom Sikazwe directed RDA to quickly come up with a budget for the construction of a new bridge and grading of an alternative Isoko road connecting Mpulungu and Mbala.
He said the works need to be done in the shortest possible time to allow road users continue with their economic activities.
He said ” the delegation that was sent here has already decided to put bailey bridges and have already made headway in terms of formulating who is supposed to do what, the role of government now is to look for money”
“The engineer has assured me that before the end of the day he will tell me how long it will take us to make sure that we connect the people of Mpulungu to the rest of the country.”
And DMMU National Coordinator Chanda Kabwe said his office will provide logistical support to engineers on site to ensure the bridge is successfully completed in record time.
It will coordinate all government wings dispatched to work on the bridge and look for neccesary resources required to finish the bridge.
He said ” our response to disaster now has changed, we will respond quickly just like we have done.”