STEVEN MVULA, Chipata
THE unprecedented infrastructure development projects embarked on by the government is only comparable to what Zambiaâ€™s first President Kenneth Kaunda did during his era, Road Development Agency (RDA) board chairperson Samuel Mukupa has said.
And Mr Mukupa has expressed serious concern about the rampant encroachment of road reserves countrywide.
Mr Mukupa said yesterday that the developmental projects by the Patriotic Front (PF) cannot be matched by any past government apart from Dr Kaundaâ€™s.
â€œThe robust infrastructure development programme is meant to transform Zambia into a land-linked country and a hub of economic activities,â€ Mr Mukupa said.
He was speaking when he paid a courtesy call on Eastern Province Minister Malozo Sichone.
â€œThese massive projects require close monitoring, hence our coming into your province, minister. This government is determined to change the road landscape of the country by 2024 when the Link Zambia 8000 project comes to an end,â€ Mr Mukupa said.
Meanwhile, Mr Mukupa has expressed serious concern about the encroachment of road reserves saying it is a huge cost to the agency and safety risk to those erecting the structures on the reserves.
Mr Mukupa appealed to the Ministry of Local Government and Housing to work closely with councils to bring the scourge to an end.
â€œHonourable Minister, we have a very serious problem of people encroaching on land which by law is reserved for expansion or any activity on the road. You need to help us,â€ he said.
Mr Mukupa said another challenge is that of dumping of garbage in newly constructed drainages.
â€œWe have built very good drainages in Eastern Province, but people have turned them into dumping sites. This is affecting the lifespan of our roads. We appeal to your council to sensitise residents that drainages are not dumping sites,â€ he said.
Mr Mukupa urged the people of Chipata to emulate the cleanliness in Livingstone, in Southern Province.
And Mr Sichone assured Mr Mukupa that his office will engage the council and ensure that infrastructure is used appropriately.
Mr Sichone thanked the RDA team for visiting the province, saying people are happy with the projects.
STEVEN MVULA, Chipata