Lusaka residents shun footbridges
Published On November 21, 2015 » 7750 Views» By Administrator Times » Latest News, Stories
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My CommunityBy THANDIWE MOYO –

PEDESTRIANS in Lusaka have continued shunning footbridges constructed as a way of lessening road traffic accidents.
The footbridges in question are on Kafue Road near Downtown Shopping Complex and two on the Great East Road at Manda Hill and University of Zambia (UNZA) areas.
A check by the Sunday Times at the three footbridges revealed that some pedestrians opted to cross the Kafue and Great East roads from undesignated places and yet the footbridges were within their reach.
Some of the pedestrians talked to said they found it hard to climb the footbridge and thus decided to cross the road underneath the structures while others viewed footbridges to be sloppy and not safe for crossing.
Davies Michelo, a student at UNZA, said footbridges were hideouts for thugs especially during the night.
He advised relevant authorities to deploy security personnel at footbridges to rid the areas of criminals.
“The foot bridge has become a hide out for criminals and drunkards; I don’t use it for fear thugs would harm me,” he said.
Mr Michelo also urged the Government to ensure that it facilitated for the construction of footbridges which were user-friendly even to disabled persons.
“The engineers can make provisions for the disabled, Give the students in the department of Engineering to think through and create a bridge for everyone as we all want to see our country developed,” he said.
According to the Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA), pedestrians were the most vulnerable road users in terms of road traffic accidents. RTSA attributes road traffic accidents to human error.
Recent police statistics revealed that a total of 8,839 road traffic accidents were recorded during this year’s third quarter as compared to 8,266 recorded in 2014 during the same period, which indicated an increase of 573 cases.

Power rationing irks manufacturers

MANUFACTURERS in Lusaka’s light industrial area have bemoaned the abnormal load-shedding they are experiencing.
Print Centre proprietor Praveen Parmar said the area was receiving abnormal load-shedding and at times power would go for days.
Mr Parmar said the erratic power supply was affecting business as people could not operate to their full potential.
He said recently the Light Industrial area had no power for four continuous days and that they did not receive any explanation from Zesco.
“The whole Light Industrial area has had no power for four days now which has greatly affected our business,” he said.
Mr Parmar urged Zesco to find alternatives to the power outages or even give a concrete explanation.
“It’s really a challenge because even phone lines have now been affected making it impossible to carry out business,” he said.
But Zesco public relations officer Henry Kapata said it was unfortunate that the industrial area did not have electricity for such a long period of time.
Mr Kapata said the manufacturers needed to lodge a complaint to Zesco for the power utility company to rectify the problem as production was greatly affected.
He said it was clear that the power outages being encountered in the area were an anomaly  was not similar to the load shedding currently being experienced in the country.
“It is evident that the blackout that was experienced in the light industrial area was just an anomaly and not the normal load shedding that was being experienced in the country,” she said.

Buseko traders defy council

THE number of traders sleeping at Lusaka’s Buseko Market has continued to rise despite numerous warnings by the Lusaka City Council (LCC) for them to vacate.
Last year LCC issued several ultimatums for the traders sleeping at the market to vacate the place as it was not safe and compromised sanitation standards.
The traders, who come from different provinces, have vowed not to vacate the market claiming that it is cheaper than to rent a house while waiting for their merchandise to be sold.
Mwape Kabwe, a trader from Mongu said several ultimatums given to them could not yield positive results because the traders had nowhere else to go.
Ms Kabwe said most traders sleeping at the market come from far-flung areas and renting accommodation could be very expensive.
She said she had stayed at the market for over seven months selling her merchandise and could only vacate after selling all her products.
“I have stayed at this market for more than a year and if am told to rent a house it means that all my capital will be consumed on lodging and will have nothing to go home with,” she said.
Emmanuel Chilandu said the problem of traders sleeping at the market could only be resolved if LCC decided to construct temporary shelters for the traders at a very minimal cost.
Mr Chilandu said he had stayed at the market with his wife and two children for over a year and he was managing to feed them hence it was unfair for them to be forced to leave the market.
“I have been here for a long time, from this small business am doing I can feed my family, I go to Mumbwa once in a while to buy goods for sale,” he said.
Melisa Phiri charged that the problem was with the LCC as the local authority was not firm on the traders and only acted when there was a calamity at the market.
Ms Phiri said the council had on several occasions given the directive to traders sleeping at the market to vacate the market when there was a fire but never bothered to make follow-ups.
She said if the council were making follow-ups after giving a directive people sleeping at the market would have vacated the premises.
“I blame the LCC because if only they were serious these people would have not been sleeping here, they would have left a long time ago.
“They are only told to leave the market when there is a fire but after some days they forget about the subject,” she said.
And deputy Lusaka Mayor Potipher Tembo said LCC was yet to find an amicable solution to the problem and promised to act soon.
Over 200 traders coming from different provinces have built makeshift structures at Buseko market, some even stay there with their families.

Lusaka land wrangles persist

CADRES of a named political party have encroached on Habitat for Humanity Zambia (HHZ) land opposite the SOS Children’s Village in Lusaka.
The cadres have invaded the HHZ Tiyende Pamodzi Project land where families whose houses were demolished in Ng’ombe Township several years ago were relocated.
Speaking on behalf of the Tiyende Pamodzi community, George Gondwe told the Sunday Times in a walk-in interview during the week that the cadres had even started constructing an office which had reached window level besides demarcating plots for sale.
The Tiyende Pamodzi community has since reported the matter to Matero police and had refused to attend a meeting yesterday which had been called by the area councilor until the cadres’ structure was demolished.

Chunga sewer line collapses

THE sewer system in some parts of Chunga Township in Lusaka has collapsed, resulting in the discharge of faecal matter in people’s yards.
The affected families attributed the effluence to damaged sewer pipes which were leaking as they had outlived their usefulness.
Rachael Mutete, one of the residents talked to, said her yard was flooded with faecal spillage accompanied by a nauseating stench.
Ms Mutete said she had stopped receiving visitors as many people that visited were welcomed by an unpleasant smell emanating from the faecal discharge.
“We fear that we may acquire water-borne diseases soon, we cannot even eat food from outside as our yards are a serious health hazard, especially to the children who play around.”
Another resident, Mery Mwaba said she was worried about her health and that of her children who are still young and could not be controlled since they played outdoors.
Ms Mwaba said the excuse that Lusaka Water and Sewerage Company (LWSC) gave of not having funds and that the pipes were damaged did not make sense.
When contacted, LWSC spokesperson Topsy Sikalinda said the residents were supposed to safeguard their infrastructure.

Human movements disturb Mumbwa road works

Mumbwa Road in Lusaka, which is under construction by AVIC International, is posing a great danger to pedestrians and cyclists because of human activity at the site.
The construction works are posing great danger to pedestrians, cyclists and traders who risk being run over by AVIC International’s construction trucks and graders.
A visit to the construction site during the week revealed that pedestrians and cyclists as well as wheelbarrow (Zam-cab) pushers were moving in either direction of Mumbwa Road while AVIC International trucks and graders were doing likewise.
Traders such as those selling second-hand clothes (salaula), among others conducting business on Mumbwa Road, have continued with their respective businesses and are not spared by the water bowser, which constantly splashes water on them owing to their closeness to road.
In some cases, pedestrians and Zam-cab pushers could be spotted passing in between two AVIC International trucks heading in opposite directions.
An AVIC International site manager who refused to give his name said the movement of people on Mumbwa Road was one of the challenges the road works were facing.
The Road Development Agency (RDA) announced that Mumbwa Road (between Lumumba/Mumbwa Road junction) and ZAMANITA (Mumbwa and Manda Road junction) will be closed from November 12, 2015 to December 4, 2015 to pave way for the works.
During the three-week closure, RDA urged motorists to be using alternative routes to get in and out of the central business district.


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