Government says it will this year work on 2,000 kilometres of feeder roads covering all chiefdoms in Northern Province.
Northern Province Permanent Secretary Charles Sipanje said the rehabilitation of feeder roads in the province is aimed at making the areas passable and also opening up places for agriculture production.
Mr. Sipanje said priority will be given to dilapidated roads that lead to chief’s palaces, schools, health centres, and areas which have high concentration of people.
He said the World Bank has offered to fund the rehabilitation of 600 kilometres of roads while the Zambian government will fund the remaining 1,400 kilometres of roads.
The Permanent Secretary said the areas were identified after government sent a team of engineers to access the state of feeder roads in the province where it was discovered that 5,600 kilometres is in deplorable state.
He however said due to limited funds, government will prioritise the rehabilitation of 2,000 kilometres of roads this year.
Mr. Sipanje said this when he called on Paramount Chief Chitimukulu at his residence in Kasama yesterday.
The PS has however assured the Paramount Chief that government will ensure that the contractor who will be awarded the contract also sub-contracts youths led companies in the province.
He said 50 local companies in the province have since been identified as sub-contractors of the projects.
Meanwhile, Mr. Sipanje also disclosed that his office will this month call for an agriculture indada to discuss challenges that the province is facing in the agricultural sector.
Mr. Sipanje said the indaba will discuss among other issues input distribution for both conventional Farmer Input Support Program (FISP) and e-voucher to see which mode the province can adopt.
He indicated that at the moment the province is divided with half of the districts implementing FISP while the other half is implementing e-voucher.
And Paramount Chief Chitimukulu has commended government for the planned rehabilitation of the feeder roads in Northern Province.
The traditional leader has however cautioned government to be strict with the local contractors that will be sub-contracted to ensure that there is no shoddy works are done on the feeder roads.
He observed that most local contractors are a disappointment as they exhibit poor workmanship adding that government should ensure that they look for capable contractors.