STEVEN MVULA, Chembe
PRESIDENT Lungu says his administration will continue creating new districts to take development and services closer to the people.
He has since directed Minister of Local Government Vincent Mwale to identify provinces which need new districts.
The head of State was speaking yesterday when he commissioned 10 medium cost houses in Chembe.
“We will not shy away from creating new districts because we want to take services closer to the people and slow down rural-urban migration, there-by reduce congestion in cities,” he said.
President Lungu said when the Patriotic Front introduced the concept of creating new districts, some people laughed and mocked the idea.
He said in new districts, not only are houses built but civic centres, hospitals, schools, police stations and other support infrastructure are also constructed.
President Lungu has since ordered the Chembe District Council to devise a maintenance strategy so that the houses do not deteriorate because Government spends huge sums of money on building them.
“I want councils countrywide to start providing water and sanitation services to their communities, that’s decentralisation. Power belongs to people at the local level, power is not in Lusaka but here in Chembe,” he said.
He urged councils in new districts to be innovative and build more houses.
President Lungu said completing the construction of 10 houses in Chembe marks the beginning of finishing building houses in all new districts between now and 2018.
“We can’t talk about decent lives without decent accommodation. There is a deficit of 1.5 million housing units in Zambia and it’s expected to rise to three million by 2030, so we have to work hard to fill that gap,” he said.
And addressing chiefs at the same function, President Lungu appealed to traditional leaders to support Government and Zambians in an effort to develop the country.
“Our traditional leaders, continue supporting Government and all Zambians in the spirit of `One Zambia one nation’. This is coming from the bottom of my heart because there are some chiefs who don’t want to support Government,” President Lungu said.
Meanwhile, President Lungu says the Patriotic Front will not rest until quality road infrastructure is built in all parts of the country.
He said this in Mansa yesterday when he flagged off the rehabilitation of 65kms of township roads which will be done at a cost of US$68.69 million.
“We promised to bring development and we are living by our word. With the improvement of roads, Luapula will attract investment in tourism, agriculture and hydro power,” President Lungu said
He said Mansa will have a facelift once the roads are worked on and movement will become efficient.
President Lungu said even wear and tear on vehicles will reduce.
The head of State urged Mansa residents not to vandalise road signs and avoid throwing garbage in drainages.
“Civic authorities provide refuse bins so that people don’t litter the drainages. You cannot become a city if you are dirty,” he said.
President Lungu said Government will endeavour to work on more township roads throughout the country.
Earlier, Minister of Local Government Vincent Mwale said a good road infrastructure is the backbone of development.
“I implore the Mansa council to take full ownership of these roads. The roads will boost your ambition to become a city,” Mr Mwale said.