Govt hails Mongu-Kalabo road contractor
By SAM PHIRI -
GOVERNMENT has commended the Chinese contractor AVIC International which is working on the 34-kilometre stretch of the Mongu-Kalabo Road, for the good job it is doing despite the bad terrain of the area.
Transport, Works, Supply and Communications Minister Yamfwa Mukanga, who recently inspected road works in Western Province said the Mongu-Kalabo Road that passed though the Barotse flood plain was one of the most expensive and involving road projects in Zambia because of the geographical location.
The largely swampy terrain would need 59 bridges to suspend the road above the murky ground usually flooded during the rainy season.
Mr Mukanga said the labour-intensity and colossal sums needed for the project would not deter Government from completing the project which would cost an estimated K1.3 billion.
“I am very happy with how the works are going on.
This is a very difficult terrain but I can see that you are committed. What I can urge you is to accelerate the pace if you can, but please don’t compromise on the quality because we don’t want this to be washed away,” he said.
The minister also toured the Mongu-Sikongo and Mongu-Senanga roads, which were both impassable by smaller vehicles because of the foot-sinking sandy terrain.
He said Government would next year commence works on the Mongu-Sikongo Road because of its economic benefits.
“These projects of the Mongu-Sikongo and the Mongu Senanga roads will be difficult. It will be almost like the Mongu-Kalabo Road. There is a lot of work because the contactor will have to do a lot of sand excavation and replace it with better soil that can be compacted,” he said.
Mr Mukanga took time to tour the dilapidated Kalabo airstrip and expressed displeasure at the manner in which infrastructure was vandalised and airstrip land encroached on.
He also inspected the Mongu airstrip and the new fire-fighting equipment at the airstrip.