Lusaka ring-road project takes off
By VICTORIA PHIRI -
GOVERNMENT has commissioned the first phase of construction of the long-awaited Lusaka ring road project that will see the creation of a 14.6 km road.
The road to be constructed at an estimated cost of KR160 million would link the south-eastern areas of Lusaka to the South Multi-Facility Economic Zone (MFEZ) and Kafue Road.
Local Government and Housing Minister Emerine Kabanshi said the ring road was of historical importance because it was the first of its kind.
Ms Kabanshi said once completed, the road would contribute to the socio-economic development of Zambia as the MFEZ would be linked to the rest of the country and the international community through the existing trunk roads.
She was speaking during a ground breaking ceremony in Kamwala South yesterday.
”The economic value of this project is immense because the Lusaka South MFEZ is a special industrial zone for production of goods for local and international markets,” she said.
The minister said the project would contribute to the free flow of traffic, thereby reducing the number of hours motorists and passengers spent on the roads.
“Traffic congestion was identified during the Lusaka development study as one of the major challenges facing the city of Lusaka.
“The short-term solution identified was what we are implementing now – the construction of an inner road, connecting roads and eventually an outer ring road as a long-term solution,” Ms
She said the Government would ensure the second phase of the Lusaka inner road, which would link Kafue Road to Mumbwa Road and Great East Road to the Great North Road, was also constructed.
The project is being funded by the Japanese Government through the Japanese International Development Agency (JICA).
Japanese Ambassador to Zambia Akio Egawa said the development of infrastructure, including roads and energy, was designated as one of the top priorities of Japan’s assistance policy for Zambia.
“Japan takes pride in being a partner in this project which is of vital importance to the lives of the people and national economic development,” Mr Egawa said.