By JONAS MISELO –
LUNGA district, located in Luapula province, has long faced the challenge of using narrow and shallow water channels for transportation.
However, relief is on the horizon for the local population as the Transforming Landscapes for Resilience and Development Project (TRALARD) is making significant progress in deepening and widening the water channels.
The project, funded by the World Bank and run by the Zambian government under the Ministry of Green Economy and Environment, has completed approximately 41 per cent of the work, which has already begun to make a positive impact on the lives of the residents.
The dredging works on the water channels will enable larger water vessels to freely navigate through the channels, improving the transportation of goods and services for the community and boosting the local economy.
Nyenda Kaunda, Deputy Director of Works for the Lunga Town Council, expressed satisfaction with the pace of the work being carried out by the contractor on behalf of the council.
“So far, thirty-three kilometres of the works have been done. The works started at Chinsanka harbour and Bwalya-Mponda for lot one. Two more lots to go from Bwalya-Mponda to Nsamba and then from Nsamba to Kasoma-Lunga. So, overall, as the local authority, we are happy with the works,” Mr Kaunda said.
The TRALARD project’s progress in Lunga district will not only make local transportation of goods and services faster and cheaper but will also provide a boost to the local economy by enabling businesses to transport their goods more efficiently.
The Lunga Town Council intends to buy two large water vessels that will serve as a means of transportation and transporting heavy cargo to Lunga district, further boosting the local economy.
“For the council, this will be a plus as it will bring revenue to the council as the Lunga Town Council only depends on the fish levy, so the procurement of two larger vessels will be a plus and add another franchise to the council,” he said.
Councillor for Ncheta ward in Bwalya-Mponda chiefdom, Joshua Chanda, expressed his happiness with what is being done by the TRALARD project in Lunga district, stating, “We are happy with the works that have been to the channels as they have made transportation easier and faster, it typically took five to eight hours for us to travel from Bwalya-Mponda to Chinsanka but now with an engine boat it takes about an hour to reach to Chinsanka, therefore we are happy with the works that have been to the channels as they have made transportation easier and faster.”
Steven Sinkala, Provincial Water Development Officer from the Department of Water Resources Development in the Ministry of Water Development and Sanitation, says the programme is going according to schedule.
“So far so good, because out of the total stretch of 80km, the contractor has done 33km, which is roughly equivalent to forty-one per cent of the work being done, which is quite encouraging and good,” said Mr Sinkala.
He added that one of the reasons for the works was that Lunga district was prone to flooding, and the government of the Republic of Zambia had to embark on these works to ensure the free flow of water during the rainy season.
The TRALARD project’s progress on the deepening and widening of water channels in Lunga district is a positive development for the local population.
The project serves as an excellent example of the importance of investing in infrastructure to foster economic growth and development, ultimately improving the standard of living for the residents of the area.
The TRALARD project is a significant step towards improving transportation, trade, and positively impacting the local economy, making transportation more accessible and cost-effective for the community. – NAIS