Road Development Agency (RDA) Acting Director and Chief Executive Officer Eng. George Manyele says rehabilitation of washed away bridges and culverts in the country will cost K217 million.
Eng. Manyele says the exercise of rehabilitating the washed away crossing points had started and is being spearheaded by RDA Provincial Regional Managers.
The Acting RDA Director and Chief Executive Officer was speaking on a ZNBC TV1 RDA sponsored programme called “MY ROAD”.
“We had tasked our Regional Managers to go around their respective Provinces to capture all structures that were washed away and those that are on the verge of being washed away. This task has been completed and the total budget to address all the washed away crossings in the country is K217 million, ” Eng. Manyele said.
He added that Provincial Regional Managers have been advised to devise a Strategy by prioritizing the crossings so that areas with larger population are not cut off.
Eng. Manyele said funds are being released slowly to address this national exercise.
And the RDA has engaged a contractor to start phase 1 of installing Acrow bridges in the country.
Eng. Manyele said the exercise would start with Eastern province before the onset of the rainy season.
“Government through the RDA bought 131 Acrow bridges. I must confirm that all components of these bridges are in the country and the first set will be installed in Eastern Province. The contractor has been engaged and money has been released to start the process.” Eng. Manyele said.
He said once the exercise is completed in Eastern province the nation would be informed where phase 2 will be conducted.
Meanwhile, the Kazungula Bridge will be fully complete next month, October 2020.
Eng. Manyele says the bilateral project between Zambia – Botswana has advanced and currently stands at 99 percent complete.
“I together with RDA Board Members this Month inspected the bridge and I can confirm that the bridge will be fully complete in the Month of October 2020, ” Eng. Manyele said.
He said there would be a last detailed technical inspection that will be carried out after which RDA would hand over the bridge to its mother Ministry, the Ministry of Housing and Infrastructure Development for necessary official opening protocols.
The Kazungula Bridge is a 923-meter-long bilateral initiative by Zambia and Botswana at the confluence of the Zambezi and Chobe rivers.
The completion of this facility is expected to ease trade by significantly reducing time in transit across the borders and expand access through most land-linked SADC member states.
Meanwhile Eng. Manyele said Covid-19 has not spared road projects being undertaken by the RDA.
“As you are aware the Covid-19 pandemic started at a time when activities for constructions were supposed to start just after the rainy season. This meant that foreign key experts and imported equipment failed to enter the country because of travel restrictions.” Eng. Manyele said.
RDA has therefore been adversely affected because many works as planned have not been worked on.
He however said the RDA, like many other sectors in the world, was in a recovery mood in working under the new normal.