STEVEN MVULA, Kawambwa
PRESIDENT Lungu expects maximum return on investment and has warned against shoddy works because Government is spending huge
sums of money on building roads and other social infrastructure in various parts of the country.
The President made the warning here yesterday when he commissioned the construction of the 122km Kawambwa-Mporokoso road which will cost US$142.2 million.
The project will take about two years to be completed.
President Lungu cautioned China Harbour Engineering Company against substandard works on the road from which he anticipates maximum economic benefits.
“We expect a maximum return on this investment, I don’t expect substandard roads and other infrastructure. I am directing the contractor, supervising engineers – Andosa Consulting – and the Road Development Agency to ensure that the road is constructed within prescribed standards,” he said.
President Lungu said good roads are critical to the realisation of economic diversification agenda the government is vigorously pursuing.
“The Patriotic Front government is vigorously pursuing an economic diversification agenda to move the country away from copper dependence to other viable economic sectors such as tourism, agriculture and manufacturing. For this agenda to be realised, infrastructure such as roads become very critical,” he said.
The President said when completed, the road will boost tourism and agricultural activities in Northern and Luapula provinces.
He said Government has prioritised countrywide infrastructure development to facilitate economic development.
“The country has witnessed unprecedented construction of, among others, roads, schools, universities, clinics and airports. Through this, we are transforming Zambia into a land-linked country and regional transit hub,” he said.
The President also appealed to the local community not to frustrate efforts to implement the project because it is aimed at uplifting their lives.
The head of State said China Harbour Engineering Company will also under its corporate social responsibility construct 10km of township roads in Kawambwa and Mporokoso districts.
The firm will also build one secondary school in each of the two districts, a market and church in Kawambwa and rehabilitate Mporokoso District Hospital.
Meanwhile, President Lungu has been given a plot in Kawambwa by the council so that he can build a house.
And speaking earlier, China Harbour Engineering Company general manager Claude Peng said the construction firm shares the Zambian government’s vision to develop the country.
Mr Claude said the company has a global reputation and is equal to the task.
“Your Government is here to deliver development and we will support your agenda because we share your vision,” Mr Claude said.
He said the Kawambwa-Mporokoso road is an important project because it has potential to not only boost tourism but also hydro-power generation.
The two districts have several spectacular waterfalls such as Lumangwe, Kabwelume and Ntumbachushi.