CATHERINE MUMBA and JACK ZIMBA, Parliament
GOVERNMENT is considering constructing a larger structure at Lusaka City Market at a cost of US$20 million.
The expanded market will accommodate five times the current number of traders operating from the gutted facility.
Minister of Local Government Vincent Mwale also told Parliament in a ministerial statement yesterday that there are plans to build a bigger bus station and better facilities at Lusaka City Market.
And Government has acquired 42 firefighting engines at a cost of US$42 million for all major districts across the country, especially the economically viable one, and those along the line of rail and border areas.
Mr Mwale told the House that a plan of action for rebuilding a better market is underway and the time frame for such an exercise will be at least 12 months.
“Government is keen on ensuring that market traders get back to running their businesses in the shortest possible time, and has also identified other sites where the traders can be relocated while rebuilding of the market is underway,” he said.
Mr Mwale said the spaces that have been identified are currently being worked on by a combined team of engineers from the defence forces and will be ready for occupation in the next six weeks.
He said the identified sites are on Lumumba Road and at Soweto market.
Mr Mwale assured the House that the new sites will be built with the necessary fire-resilient materials and will be permanent structures.
And Mr Mwale said the new firefighting engines are fully equipped with all the required fire-fighting equipment.
“Furthermore, it will now be a requirement that a complete security camera system is installed in all markets to curb any unscrupulous dealings by individuals with bad intent,” he said.
Mr Mwale said it will equally be of great importance that everyone is mandated to have insurance policies over their assets as well as ensuring that all building owners insure their properties.
Meanwhile, traders at Lusaka City Market are delighted about Government’s announcement that it will rebuild the market.
And the market was yesterday opened for traders to remove the wood covering their shelves and other remains to pave way for reconstruction of the facility.
Market secretary John Njovu told the Daily Mail that the traders are happy about Government’s plans to rebuild the market.
“We are very happy that we can get our lives back. That will give us hope, though our only appeal is that we are allowed to trade somewhere else as we wait for the reconstruction so that we continue providing for our families,” one of the traders, Helen Phiri, said.