By CATHERINE NYIRENDA –
GOVERNMENT through the Lusaka City Council (LCC) is negotiating with Kafue and Chibombo district councils to secure land to open up new burial sites for the city following the filling up of the existing ones.
Local Government and Housing Deputy Minister Nicolas Banda told Parliament that there was no land available within the boundaries of Lusaka where a cemetery can be located.
He said Lusaka would need about 50 hectares of land for a new cemetery to satisfy the population of the city.
He said this when Lubaseshi Members of Parliament (MP) Patrick Mucheleka during the question for oral answer session, if Government had any plans to open up new burial sites in Lusaka in view of the shortage of burial spaces at existing cemeteries.
“Negotiations with the chiefs in the two districts were at an advance stage and once completed the new sites are likely to be situated in Chibombo near Chingwere, which will be an extension to the existing cemetery and the other one in Kafue District,” Mr Banda said.
Kaputa MP Maxas Ng’onga in a follow up question, asked what Government was doing in the medium term as negotiations were going on with chiefs to avoid people paying a lot of money to private cemeteries.
In his response, the minister told the House that the existing cemeteries still had spaces which the council was allocating to people who wanted to bury their loved ones.
Rufunsa MP Kenneth Chipungu asked Government if they were not thinking of introducing other avenues such as cremating of the dead in the view of shortage of land.
But the minister said cremation was not part of Zambian culture and it would call for a lot of debate if they were to introduce it.
And Government yesterday told Parliament that the Road Development Agency (RDA) had formulated maintenance strategy for 2014 to 2015 to ensure that all roads are kept in good condition.
Transport, works, Supply and Communication Deputy Minister Mwimba Malama said the strategy also provides for maintenance of feeder and access roads in the rural areas.
He said this when Mr Mucheleka asked when Government would come up with a comprehensive plan for the construction of feeder roads in rural areas.
Mr Mucheleka also wanted to know whether Government had ever carried out an analysis of the Link Zambia 8000 project and the construction of rural roads in order to appreciate the social and economic linkages.
Mr Malama said Government through RDA carried out feasibility studies and detailed engineering designs before the commencement of rehabilitation or upgrading works on roads that were part of link Zambia 8000 programme.