JIMMY CHIBUYE, Choma
THE Maamba-Batoka road will be officially re-opened this month-end following the successful completion of works on the two sections that were washed away by heavy rains early this year.
Parts of the highway were washed away by heavy rains on two sections, which are 38 and 43 kilometres away from Choma, prompting the Road Development Agency (RDA) to set aside over K6 million for repairs.
The road was being worked on by a team of RDA, Zambia Army and Zambia National Service (ZNS) engineers.
Southern Province Minister Edify Hamukale said at a press briefing here yesterday the works have been completed and that only one culvert was remaining at kilometre 43 before the road could be opened to the public.
“I am happy to inform the general public that the works on kilometre 38 and 43 have been completed on Maamba-Batoka road and the road will be available for use by the end of this month,” Dr Hamukale said.
He said the road is important because it provided access to Maamba Collieries Limited and Collum Coal Mine, the two coal producers in the country.
Dr Hamukale said the closure of the road hampered the transportation of sardines (kapenta) and other merchandise to and from Sinazongwe district.
He was happy the business of sardines, commonly known as Siavonga, and other economic activities will be normalised following the opening of the road.
Dr Hamukale said the production of sardines in Sinazongwe is expected to increase this year because of plenty of food brought by the last rainy season.
He said Sinazongwe district employs about 4,000 people in different business activities and the closure of the road has had a negative effect on livelihoods.
Dr Hamukale thanked President Lungu for his quick intervention and support towards the road repairs.