GOVERNMENT has decided to restructure the implementation of some of the major road projects under the Link Zambia 8,000 programme.
Housing and Infrastructure Development Minister Hon. Vincent Mwale notes that in the recent past, the Government had faced some challenges in the implementation of the road infrastructure projects mainly because of the limitations in the mobilisation of local resources.
He disclosed that a total of 31 projects located across the country had undergone rescoping adding that this had been achieved through contract re-negotiation and variation.
The project restructuring process involves re-scoping or downscaling of projects from Upgrading to bituminous (paved) standard to construction of “all-weather gravel standard roads”.
“This would not only achieve enhanced accessibility particularly for the rural communities but also ensure that the limited resources are prudently applied to attain maximum impact,” he said.
Hon. Mwale said the undertaking had resulted in the reduction of the combined Contract sums of the affected projects from sixteen billion kwacha to six billion four hundred and seventy-nine million kwacha translating into a reduction of the financial requirement of about 60 percent.
He said in a statement that this was mainly because of the limitations in the mobilisation of local resources due to a number of factors such as constrained growth among others.
Hon. Mwale also said the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic had worked to compound the situation unfavourably.
Hon. Mwale said while Government has been implementing numerous road projects covering all the regions of the country, it had also realized that the investments in the road infrastructure and other major capital projects such as the Hospitals, Universities and Airports required sufficient and sustainable financial resources most of which should be mobilised locally.
The Minister responsible for Infrastructure Development said the scope of the project works have ranged from construction, upgrading, rehabilitation and maintenance of the road infrastructure in order to keep the roads in good condition.
"The premise of Government’s road infrastructure development agenda has been the recognition that a good road network is a key ingredient in national efforts to facilitate private sector led growth in the priority sectors of agriculture, mining, manufacturing and tourism," he said.
"Since 2011, Government has achieved significant and tangible results in the implementation of various road infrastructure programmes and projects such as the Link Zambia 8000, Lusaka 400, National Road Tolling Programme and other road rehabilitation and maintenance projects."
He said this achievement had benefited and would continue to benefit members of the public through reduced transport costs and increased access to goods and services particularly in previously un-serviced areas of our country.
"These results will have lasting positive impact on the economy, " he said.