Editor's Comment

Patience pays for development

Township road in Mbala in Northern Province on Saturday,April 15,2017. PICTURE BY SALIM HENRY/STATE HOUSE ©2017

EXPECTATIONS for development across the country are huge.
The appetite has been whetted by the ruling Patriotic Front‘s ambitious infrastructure development drive since assuming power in 2011.
Citizens have seen the benefits of infrastructure development which has spruced up neighbourhoods, districts, triggered employment creation, improved livelihoods and improved service delivery.
It is against such background that a couple of days ago traditional leaders in Northern Province presented their development needs to President Lungu, who was on a tour of the region.
The chiefs presented five areas of need: trunk roads, feeder roads, university, tourism and agriculture.
Their desire is understandable.  This is the desire of all Zambians who are seeing the fulfilment of promises made by the Government under the Patriotic Front (PF).
President Lungu has underscored and reiterated that the governing party and the Government will walk the talk on development, but seeks the indulgence of all Zambians that development cannot happen overnight.
What should, or is, assuring for all is that there is steady development across the country and with time the width and breadth of the country will be having a share of the development cake.
As President Lungu has stated, Government will continue fulfilling the promises but that development cannot happen instantly.  There is no reason to doubt that development will indeed spread.  In fact, it is already on a significant roll.
Zambia has witnessed robust infrastructure development between 2012 and 2016.  The Link Zambia project, also known as Accelerated National Roads Construction Programme, is the flagship.
The Link Zambia 8000 road project, initiated in 2012, is aimed at accelerating road construction in the country through the Road Development Agency (RDA).
The project, launched on September 20, 2012 seeks to transform Zambia into a truly land-linked country and has so far created thousands of jobs, especially among the youths, where it is being implemented and has to a large extent promoted the growth of local contracting industry as well as contributed to reduction of road user costs and transit times across Zambia.
The project has created and will continue to create economic growth poles and wealth in outlying areas.
Apart from the Link Zambia project, there is also the Pave  Zambia  2000  and township roads which aim  at providing improved access to various social  amenities  in  urban  areas  using  the interlocking paving brick and cobblestone technology.
The RDA has also implemented the first phase of the L400 project in which most selected Lusaka city roads have been rehabilitated.
The US$348 million project thrust is to address the current challenges faced on Lusaka roads which include congestion of vehicles and motorised and non-motorised traffic conflicts, to  mention but a few.
The Copperbelt has also benefitted from the road infrastructure as well as the construction of shopping malls.
This is besides health facilities, nursing schools, primary, secondary, colleges and universities which  Government is constructing countrywide.
People in outlying areas where Government is yet to deliver infrastructure projects are desperate to see them being actualised.
This is because infrastructure investment creates opportunities for individuals and communities where it has been established.
Infrastructure, in any form, creates economic activities. Apart from employment, they spawn opportunities for business and lower costs of living.
This is what Government continues to do.

 

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