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Luapula gets fair share of infrastructure development

GOVERNMENT is currently undertaking an ambitious infrastructure development programme across the country including Luapula Province.
Within the province, the newly created Mwansabombwe district is not an exception as it is also on Government’s development agenda.
During the just-ended Mutomboko ceremony, President Lungu said a new district administration at box stage is currently under construction at Lufubu at the cost of K4,200,000.
“In this connection, I wish to thank your Royal Highness Mwata Kazembe for allocating land to Government for this purpose,” he said.
According to President Lungu, other projects include construction of a new police station and police camp, civic centre, two high cost houses and a state-of-the-art post office at the cost of K19,300,000.
The projects which are at various stages are expected to be completed within a year.
Furthermore, Government is constructing 20 low cost houses for Government employees at the cost of K12,200,000.
The houses which are at foundation stage are expected to be completed in December this year.
Another 20 medium cost houses are under construction at a cost of K12,000,000 and are expected to be completed within the period of September to December this year.

A NEW hospital being constructed in Milenge district. PICTURES: JACK ZIMBA

Mr Lungu said the projects are progressing well, adding that he is reliably informed that they will be completed within schedule.
“I wish to warn non-performing local contractors that we are in the process of assessing the quality and pace of their works. We will not only cancel contracts of contractors that are found wanting but my government will also seek legal redress and compensation from erring contractors on behalf of the Zambian people,” he said.
On chiefs’ palaces, President Lungu said in a bid to provide them with accommodation that befits their status as governors of chiefdoms, Government has embarked on the construction of their palaces throughout the country.
Works on three chiefs’ palaces have progressed well in Luapula Province among other chiefdoms, he said.
In the agriculture sector, President Lungu said Government has put in place policies suitable for assisting farmers to acquire farming inputs, and to have access to ready markets for their produce.
Government has also invested in the livestock centre project which has reached an advanced.
In the health sector, Mr Lungu said Government has also made tremendous improvement across the country.
Out of a total of 650 health centres set to be built nation-wide, a total of 65 rural health posts are earmarked for construction in Luapula Province.
Three health centres will be constructed in Mwansabombwe district including six staff houses for the local health workers.
And with Government’s co-operating partners, the African Development Bank (ADB) has constructed 10 new boreholes and rehabilitated another 10 in Mwansabombwe district for the provision of safe and clean drinking water.
“Government has also released K500,000 for construction of 15 new boreholes in the area. In addition to sinking boreholes, Government has embarked on the Kazembe piped water scheme project to improve access to clean water for more households,” the President said.
Construction of secondary schools in the province has been high on Government’s agenda.
President Lungu said it is, therefore, gratifying to note that in an effort to boost the education sector, each district in the province is upgrading at least two primary schools to secondary schools.
According to him, construction of Luapula University, Mwense Trades Training Institute, and Nchelenge College of Mathematics and Science will provide an opportunity for youths to have access to quality tertiary education.
The move will help in decongesting the already over populated public higher institutions of learning across the country.
And Government has identified tourism as one of the key sectors of growth in the country.
The Northern Tourism Circuit which Luapula Province is part of is one of the priority areas of Government.
President Lungu said to realise this goal, the regional co-ordinating office in Kasama has to play a pivotal role in promoting investment in tourism by marketing the sector and investment in the circuit.
To this effect, Government is hopeful that boosting these sectors will be a stepping stone to creating jobs for the people.
This will in turn help to mitigate poverty levels being experienced in the province and also various parts of the country.
President Lungu is convinced Luapula Province has potential to use its God-given resources to improve its economic status.
And to this end, Government through the Zambia Forestry Industries Corporation Limited (ZAFFICO) has launched an exotic forestry plantation in Kawambwa district on a 20,800-hectare land allocated by Chief Munkata.
“ZAFFICO has already planted exotic trees, eucalyptus and pine on 430 hectares for the forest plantation,” he said.
The establishment of the plantation has translated into the creation of 235 permanent and short term contract jobs.
It is anticipated that once fully operational, the project will create a total of 4,000 permanent and short term contract jobs.
President Lungu said the company also intends to venture into tea production on 100 hectares of cleared land.
This project is earmarked to commence once seedlings are procured and nurseries set up.
With the above projects being undertaken by Government in Mwansabombwe, the district is fast becoming an attractive destination for investors.

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