President Edgar Lungu has yesterday commissioned the US$ 20.9 million, 247 Kilometers; Kalomo-Dundumwezi-Ngoma-Itezhi-Tezhi first ever climate resilient road in Zambia.
President Lungu said the commissioning of the new road from Kalomo through Dundumwezi to Itezhi-Tezhi district is a positive development as the Government continues to transform the face of the country.
President Lungu said the commissioning of the road was a clear reflection of the Patriotic Front (PF) Government’s unwavering commitment to improving the road network across the country and to delivering on the development promises to the people of Southern Province.
He said the new road could withstand all weather conditions.
“The road we are commissioning today, the Kalomo-Dundumwezi-Ngoma-Itezhi-Tezhi road has been constructed, and rehabilitated using the revised construction guidelines, making it the first-ever climate resilient gravel road in the country,” he said.
The Head of State was speaking at the commissioning of the Kalomo-Dundumwezi-Ngoma-Itezhi-Tezhi road today in Dundumwezi, Southern Province.
“As a climate resilient road, it is expected to withstand changing climatic conditions. This is the model road which we will replicate in other parts of the country, particularly, in rural areas, due to its cost effectiveness, compared to the traditional methods of road construction,” he said.
“Government is addressing the challenge of climate change in infrastructure development, by redefining the guidelines for construction and rehabilitation. The redefined guidelines are taking into account current and projected climatic conditions in terms of temperatures, rainfall and winds. This is to ensure that our infrastructure is built to withstand extreme weather conditions,” he said.
He observed that the efforts to transform the rural parts of the country were being negatively effected by the effects of climate change.
“Flash floods washing away bridges are making it hard for our mothers and children to access education, health facilities and other services,” President Lungu said.
He said the new road which links Southern and Central provinces, is a shorter route to the Copperbelt, Lusaka and Western provinces and will also reduce the hardships experienced by people in accessing markets, and engaging in socio-economic activities.
“The road brings numerous benefits to the communities living within the Kafue River Basin. For our farmers, the road has eased access to inputs, and markets for their crops and livestock,” he said.
He further said, “Our livestock farmers from Choma, Zimba, Kalomo,Dundumwezi and some parts of Western Province such as Mulobezi, Sichili, Machile, and Moomba Chiefdom are easily accessing their main markets in Central and Copperbelt Provinces, including Kasumbalesa boarder post”.
And President Lungu said local contractors will continue to take part in the development of the country by ensuring that all contracts below K30 million are reserved for them.
“We will continue to reserve all contracts below K30 million to citizen owned, citizen influenced and citizen empowered companies in line with the Citizen Economic Empowerment Regulations of 2011,” he said.