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RDA SET TO IMPROVE STATE OF ROADS IN WESTERN PROVINCE

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Construction of Bridge on Mongu - Kalabo Road in progress

 

Western Province is known for its characteristic flat terrain, deep Kalahari sands and flood plains. The province has approximately 1,899.3 kilometers of roads of which 745km are main roads and 1154.3 kilometers are district roads.
Most of the roads in the province have been in poor condition due to lack of maintenance. Government through the Road Development Agency has however embarked on implementation of a number of road projects in order to improve the condition of the road network. Road Projects under implementation include the Mongu- Kalabo, Sioma- Nagweshi, construction of a bridge at Sioma and construction of a major culvert in Luampa district.
RDA Senior Manager for Public Relations Loyce Saili recently undertook a media tour of all ongoing road projects in the province. The tour revealed that tremendous progress has been recorded on the Mongu- Kalabo project section between Mongu and Tapo covering a distance of approximately 34 kilometers.
The US$ 286.9 million project being implemented by a Chinese company AVIC, involves construction of 24 concrete bridges, one major bridge across the Zambezi River and construction of an embankment. Despite experiencing unprecedented high water levels in the Barotse flood plain this year, the contractor has recorded good progress. So far, all the 24 concrete bridges are at different stages of construction while the construction of the main bridge at the Zambezi River is also progressing well. Construction of the embankment on the 34 kilometer section is at 96.7 per cent complete with 12 kilometers of sub-base completed.
Resident Engineer from Rankin Engineering Consultants, Mr.  Salah Gad Said the contractor would be set to begin tarring a trial section in the next few weeks. Mr. Gad is so far satisfied with the quality of the works and the progress recorded by the contractor this far. The project is earmarked for completion in April 2016.
The construction of the Mongu Kalabo road is expected to bring immense benefits to the local people as well as the nation as a whole. Once completed, the road will ease movement of people, goods and services between Mongu and Kalabo. The Road which is eventually planned to link Zambia to Angola Via Sikongo is also expected to enhance trade between the two neighboring countries. The completion of the road will also reduce transport costs and transit time for travelers between Mongu and Kalabo. Risks associated with the use of dugout canoes by local people will also be eliminated once this road is completed.
The local people have generally welcomed construction of the Mongu- Kalabo road the project and look forward to the completion of this national road project which is set to improve their livelihood.
Meanwhile construction of a Bridge at Sioma is also progressing well. The project involves construction of a cantilever bridge of approximately 252m across the Zambezi. The project is being implemented by China Henan International Corporation at a cost of K 74 million. Overall progress for this project stands at 32 per cent. The project is scheduled to be completed in December, 2015.
The completion of the Sioma Bridge will provide a permanent crossing which is currently a missing link on the newly constructed Sesheke – Senanga Road. Currently travelers on this route use a pontoon at Sikuka as the main means of crossing vehicles and people.
In Luampa District the Road Development Agency is constructing a culvert that was washed away during the last rainy season. The construction of the culvert which is being directly undertaken by the RDA is progressing well. RDA Regional Manager for Western Province Eng. Gershom Mwagomba said he was happy with the progress recorded on the project and is confident that the construction of the culvert will be completed by December.
District Commissioner for Luampa Mr. Alfred Miyato is happy that the RDA is constructing the culvert. He said the wash away had cut off Luampa from the rest of the district in Western Province. He said it was gratifying that RDA had managed to provide a temporal crossing point whilst working on the washed away culvert. He urged the Agency to carry out physical check of other culverts in the area that may not be in a very good condition and also at a risk of being washed away.
And construction of the Sioma – Ngweshi road has commenced. The project which commenced in April this year is being undertaken by China Geo Engineering Corporation at a cost of K188.5 million. The 38 kilometer road project which involves upgrading of the existing gravel road to bituminous standard is earmarked for completion in April 2015. So far the contractor has set up a quarry for the production of aggregates and also started clearing and grubbing on the first 10 kilometer section including constructing of the pavement layers and construction of culverts.

RDA PAVES ROAD TO DAGHAMMERSKJOD PLANE CRASH SITE

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Paved road from the Ndola – Kitwe Dual Carriageway junction to Dag Hammerskjold Heritage Site.

The Road Development Agency (RDA) has upgraded the 7.02km road from Ndola – Kitwe Dual Carriageway junction to the Dag Hammerskjold Heritage Site in Ndola where the late Swedish United Nations Secretary General, Mr. Dag Hammaerskhold died in a plane crash in 1961.
The road which takes hundreds of people each year to the historical site especially during the memorial of the late UN Secretary General has been a gravel road from the independence days till this year when the Agency included as part of the works on the Ndola – Kitwe Dual Carriageway.
An on the spot check revealed that, this year (2014), the road has been upgraded to bituminous standard with drainage works going on while line markings and road furniture are yet to be undertaken. The Contractor, China Jiangxi Engineering Corporation, has completed the upgrade that has been extended to Ndola Girls Technical Secondary School administration block and the surrounding within the Heritage Site. Drainage works are being undertaken and are near completion.  This development will promote tourism and has already started attracting tourists both foreign and local as they visit the site to learn more about the death of the late Dag Hammerskjold.  
The newly upgraded Dag Hammerskjold road also passes through the proposed site for the Copperbelt University Dag Hammerskjold Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies.

Kaizen 5s launched at RDA

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RDA Director and Chief Executive Officer, Eng. Bernard Chiwala launching the Kaizen 5S at RDA Headquarters in Lusaka on Friday, 7th November, 2014. Looking on is JICA Deputy Resident Representative, Mr. Athashi Kagawa (right) and Kaizen Institute of Zambia CEO, Mr. Chola Mwitwa.

The Road Development Agency (RDA) has incorporated tenets of the Japanese Philosophy called Kaizen into its performance management contracts. The tenets referred to as the 5S’s will become a way of doing things at the RDA.

Speaking at the launch of the 5S at RDA HQ in Lusaka recently, RDA CEO Eng. Bernard Chiwala said it was time that staff at RDA embraced the Kaizen Tenets in their day to day activities in order to make the institution a high performing organization.

Kaizen is a Japanese Philosophy that champions continuous improvement as a way of attaining efficiency at individual and organizational level.

”I wish to mention that we have incorporated the aspect of Kaizen into performance management contracts and indicators so that this can become the way we do things here at RDA,” he said adding that  the 5S needed to be observed if each member of staff was to make any meaningful progress in their individual performance.

The 5s are SEIRI which means Classification or Sorting, SEITON which (Arrangement or Systematize or Simplifying Access) and SEISOU which means Cleaning or Sweeping, Shining. Others are SEIKETSU which means Cleanliness, Standardize and SHITSUKE (Sustaining Self - Discipline).

He said it was the philosophy Kaizen that had brought Japan to where it is today because even the young people in that country were well organized. Eng. Chiwala said the Zambian people needed to emulate the people of Japan in order to be successful. He said success was easy as it only needed someone to learn from those that were better than them, a principle he called the Principle of Emulation, “copying from those who are better than you.”

He said success did not come by accident but it was planned adding that this is what RDA sought to achieve for the past 27 months since the launch of the RDA 25 point strategy in July, 2012. Eng. Chiwala made reference to the Ghanaian renowned preacher Dr. Mensah Otabil who said the wealth of the nation did not reside in the abundance of its natural resources but in the wisdom of its people.

“That’s what we are seeking by learning from others, by copying from others so that we can apply those principles they have used so that we can ascend to the summit of development and also learn at corporate level to transform RDA to become a high performing organization where people will come and learn the secret of our success,”. He said

He pledged to JICA and the Kaizen Institute of Zambia that RDA would continue to pursue the Kaizen tenets so that truly the Agency could become a shining example of the application of the Kaizen Principles.

JICA Deputy Resident Representative, Mr. Athashi Kagawa said he was greatly honoured to be part of the Kaizen Launch in RDA saying the Government of Japan decided to start offering technical support to productivity improvement in Zambia in 2008. He said JICA was actively involved together with the Zambian Government in Kaizen operations that began in October, 2013.

He said RDA was a longtime partner of Kaizen activities in Zambia and a lot of significant progress had been made. He hoped that Kaizen would promote and enhance the character of high level productivity and performance in private and public sector in Zambia. Mr. Kagawa said JICA was committed to support the activities of Kaizen activities in Zambia. He congratulated Eng. Chiwala and RDA for working so hard to incorporate Kaizen activities in their daily activities.

And speaking at the same occasion, Kaizen Institute of Zambia Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Chola Mwitwa also thanked RDA for having embraced Kaizen as one of its management instruments. “Kaizen means change for better or continuous improvement in Japan. KIZ is an emerging unique organization establishment as a non-profit organization in the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry whose members are Zambia Development Agency (ZDA) and Zambia Bureau of Standards (ZBS) to fast truck the promotion of quality and productivity,” he said.

He said he was happy that RDA was one of the public sector organisations to embrace Kaizen as an instrument for promoting quality and productivity. He said his organisation was about promoting the Kaizen concept, theories and tools in both public and private sector organisations and to deliver total quality management for business excellence.

RDA Kaizen Co-odinator, Eng. John Kapenda thanked management for its passionate support to the implementation of Kaizen at the Agency. He said there was a lot of waste that members of staff needed to get rid-off in order to excel citing time management as one of them. He said all members of staff needed to mind this wastage if they were to improve in their daily performances and contribute to the dream of making RDA a high performing organization.

Members of staff listening attentively to Eng. Chiwala speaking

RDA staff pay their last respect to President Sata

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RDA Director and Chief Executive Officer Eng. Bernard Chiwala leads RDA staff in paying their last respect to the late President, His Excellency Mr. Michael Chilufya Sata at Mulungushi International Conference Centre on 5th November, 2014.

Members of staff before body viewing.

 

The Road Development Agency (RDA) this week Wednesday joined the rest of the nation in paying their last respect to the late President, His Excellency Mr. Michael Chilufya Sata whom RDA Director and Chief Executive Officer, Eng. Bernard Chiwala has described as a Decision with Action Man.

Eng. Chiwala led the RDA staff in paying their last respect to President Sata who initiated major road projects such as the Link Zambia 8000 Road Project, the Pave Zambia 2000 Road Project, the Lusaka 400 Road Project and the National Road Tolling Programme.

He said the late President, whom he further described as a focused and persistent man,   was committed to transforming the infrastructure landscape of the country and wanted things done quickly. He said there was no excuse in late President’s vocabulary as all he wanted was to get things done.

Speaking in an interview in his office after paying his last respect on the late President, Eng. Chiwala narrated that it was a very difficult day when he received the message about the demise of the President and for few minutes he did not know what to do or say but just sat to reflect on the matter and let the issue sink in his heart and mind in the early hours of Wednesday, 29th October, 2014.

He said he prayed that the Lord God would visit the land of Zambia that the nation might know the full measure of peace as was our legacy for the last 50 years of independence. He said it very heart breaking for him seeing that the President lying lifeless in a casket at Mulungushi International Conference Center.

Sharing his experience with the late President at both official and personal level, Eng. Chiwala said the early days when the late President began to provide oversight on RDA, when Link Zambia was being formulated, where very tough days. He explained that the President wanted things done and done very quickly without breaking procedures and regulations.

So we had to find a way to ensure that the task given to you was delivered on time and with precision of an aviation engineer. I liked that kind of leadership because that is the kind of leadership I have been trained in to get things done and demand results from those that work with you. So there was harmony between the President and myself. As you know, the secret of getting things done was to act and the end of all knowledge is action.

Eng. Chiwala said the early days were difficult because he did not know how to handle the President and sometimes he was gripped with anxiety but personally he resolved that he was going to be 10km ahead of the President so that if he asked for anything Eng. Chiwala would respond in the affirmative that ‘this is where we are’ and he worked very well with the President thereafter.

Asked on the future of the road projects that RDA was undertaking in the wake of the loss of the President, Eng. Chiwala said that the projects were government projects but it was very sad that the President was no more. “God in His own wisdom has set aside an appointed day when each one of us would die and thereafter face judgment as it is written in the bible.

“But I am comforted by the fact that our lives and times are in God’s hands. The truth is no one knows when one would die.  He reiterated that the government had budgeted in excess of K5 billion in the 2015 budget. The decision to allocate so much resources to the road sector underscores government’s commitment to transforming Zambia into a truly landlinked country. He said Zambia was surrounded by eight (8) neighboring countries and she was a natural hub. “So these programs are intended to make that idea a reality.

Eng. Chiwala said the Link Zambia 8000 was expected to create 24,000 jobs when at its peak.  He said by September, 2014 jobs in excess of 19,000 jobs had been created. More jobs are expected in the year 2015 as new projects commence. He said RDA was doing approximately 14,002km of routine maintenance, periodic maintenance, construction and full rehabilitation as well as road tolling which was an important project.

He further said that the Agency had now started implementing Phase 2 of the Tolling Program.  The construction of toll plazas is expected to commence on 15th December, 2014. The national road tolling programme would bring to bear a sustainable road financing mechanism premised on the user pay principle meaning that those who use the road would pay for it by way of toll fees. Road maintenance would be financed from those revenues. He said indications so far interms of phase 1 showed that there was good progress interms of targets achieved where more than 90% of the works had been procured.

Asked on how his thoughts were about the late President, Eng. Chiwala said he observed some good attributes in President Sata including the fact he lived by the DWA Principle of Decision With Action , bold and courageous citing an example of how he repossessed Zamtel and Zambia Railways among others. He said the late President was a man with deep compassion for the poor adding that he was focused and very persistent until he got what he was looking for citing an example of the Patriotic Front, the party he formed till he ascended to the highest office in the land despite having lost three times in general elections. He said that was what RDA was aiming at, to keep pushing until Zambia was transformed into a land linked country. He further said that he would like to see RDA transformed into a very high performing organization that would be the envy of the nation.

When asked for a word of encouragement to RDA staff, the Director and Chief Executive Officer said he only had one message of encouragement which he learnt from David Livingstone “Do not look back unless that’s the direction you want to go” and from the late President Kwameh Nkrumah of Ghana who said “we will face neither east nor west, we will face forward.”

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