STEVEN MVULA, Itezhi Tezhi
CONSTRUCTION of the US$21 million Kalomo-Itezhi tezhi- Dundumwezi-Namwala road is a fulfilment of the campaign promise to take development to all parts of Zambia regardless of
voting patterns, President Lungu said here yesterday.
And President Lungu has urged Itezhi tezhi residents to use the road when its construction is completed to enhance tourism and not poaching.
He said this when he inspected the beginning of construction works on the 237-kilometre stretch of the road which will take two years and another three years for maintenance.
The road is the first-ever climate-resilient project to be built. It will cost about US$21 million.
“We promised to work on this road and we have come to witness the works. This is not time for politics but time to develop this part of the country even if you didn’t vote for me,” President Lungu said.
And the head of State urged the people living in an area where the Kafue National Park lies not to go into poaching but to use the road for promoting tourism.
He said works on the road will create employment and other business opportunities for the local people.
President Lungu said the road will also boost trade as people will easily take their agriculture products to the market.
And Road Development Agency chief executive officer Elias Mwape told President Lungu that the construction of the road has been divided into three lots: 73.7kms from Kalomo to Dundumwezi; 95.6kms from Dundumwezi to Ngoma; and 45.5kms from Itezhi tezhi to Namwala.
Mr Mwape said the road is being reconstructed to withstand adverse weather effects such as floods.
“Your Excellency, project financing is in the form of a loan to the Zambian government from the African Development Bank. We will upgrade drainage systems to climate proofed design standards and dredging and erosion control measures,” Mr Mwape said.
He said the project is expected to generate significant social benefits through reduced vulnerability to flooding and limiting land degradation trends.
Meanwhile, President Lungu received a thunderous welcome by Itezhi tezhi residents.
When the plane carrying the President touched down at Nakabangwe School grounds at 14:00 hours, the atmosphere became ecstatic as people cheered and ululated.
And President Lungu assured the people that he will continue working for all Zambians, including those who did not vote for him.
“I have come to thank you for the votes you gave me.
“Your votes enabled me to reach the 50 percent plus one threshold and so, I am President because of you,” he said.
Mr Lungu urged the local people to take on their member of Parliament over the problems they are facing so that he can inform the government.
“This is how Government works. We will do what your member of Parliament tells us to do.
“Yes, as government we can do something but we can do more with the help of your MP,” he said.