Western Province Permanent Secretary, Simomo Akapelwa, has urged engineers from local authorities to ensure that premature road failure is avoided.
Mr Akapelwa said engineers are expected to deliver projects on time and within the right quality.
He was speaking when he officially opened a seven-day workshop for engineers in Mongu today.
The workshop is aimed at equipping the engineers with knowledge in material testing, project quality control and project management.
Mr Akapelwa noted that the workshop involves both theoretical and practical work.
“I am glad that the workshop has been drafted to provoke discussions that will bring out the real challenges faced by the local authority and how best they can be addressed,” he said.
The Permanent Secretary said the knowledge gained during the workshop will also greatly assist the local authorities in managing the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) in order to ensure project efficiency and effectiveness.
He said it is satisfying that engineers have come together to learn and experience the changing environments of road design, construction and maintenance.
“You have been tasked to serve the people of Zambia by ensuring value for money on road construction and maintenance projects,” he said.
The Western Province Permanent Secretary is hopeful that the training will bring about a change in mindsets among engineers because the responsibility of Zambia’s infrastructure lies on their shoulders as designers, builders and maintenance experts.
Mr Akapelwa has since commended the partnership among the National Council for Construction (NCC), National Road Fund Agency (NRFA) and the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development.
“This partnership will help to spur the government’s infrastructure and developmental agenda in rural and urban areas while strengthening diverse work culture for technical staff in the local authorities,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mr Akapelwa has urged women to take up engineering courses in order to achieve the 50 percent representation that women have been spearheading in decision making positions.
“In a group of 30 engineers, I can only see three women. Please encourage your sisters to take up this career. You want 50 percent representation. At SADC (Southern African Development Community) you have lowered it to 30 percent,” he said.
The training has brought together 30 engineers who work for the councils in Western, Central, Lusaka and Southern Provinces.