Rehabilitation works under the Improved Rural Connectivity Project (IRCP) launched by President Edgar Lungu in Mkushi District in July 2019 are progressing well.
Road Development Agency (RDA) Director Communications and Corporate Affairs Masuzyo Ndhlovu disclosed during a media tour in Mkushi that the physical progress on the World Bank supported project was approximately at 15% while the financial progress is at 25%.
He said 17 km of the 27 km road from Mansansa to Fiwila in Mkushi had been rehabilated.
Mr. Ndhlovu said the project was aimed at improving rural road accessibility and connectivity for communities in selected areas in Zambia.
Meanwhile, RDA World Bank Funded Projects Manager Eng. Nicholas Mulenga said within the selected roads, bridges were being constructed together with economic support structures such as agricultural shades, water dams and a market for agricultural produce.
And Engineering consultant Adusumilli Madhavarao said the contractor Sinohydro Zambia Limited was working on the output and performance based road contract for the design, rehabilitation and maintenance of works on package 1 in Mkushi that includes two years for rehabilitation and three years for maintenance and improvement to gravel standards of feeder roads in the area.
The project focuses on rural access roads and tracks that are currently in poor condition. The road improvement works involve bush clearing to demarcate the road works corridor and to improve on road safety on the all weather gravel roads.
In July 2019, President Edgar Lungu launched the Improved Rural Connectivity Project (IRCP) to improve the feeder road network in Central, Eastern, Luapula, Muchinga, Northern and Southern provinces, being funded by the World Bank.
Package two involves Output and Performance-based Road Contract (OPRC) for design, rehabilitation, routine and periodic maintenance works of Chibombo and Mumbwa Districts.
The contractor for package two is China CAMC Engineering Limited and commencement date was June 28, 2019. The length of the road is 247 km.
Once complete, the Improved Rural Connectivity Project would significantly contribute to gradually reducing the proportion of primary feeder roads in poor condition from the current 82% to below 30 % over a period of 10 years.