Groupe Europeen de Development (GED) Africa and Development Bank of Southern Africa has commenced conducting the environmental assessment process of the 187 km Mwenda-Kashiba road project which will be constructed at a total cost of US $475m under the Private Public Partnership (PPP).
The multi-million project, which will include the construction of a modern bridge across Luapula River and a Border Post at Kashiba, will connect Zambia to Congo DR in Luapula Province through Chipili and Mwense districts.
According to GED country manager Marcus Ascott, a total of US $221m will be spent on the Zambian side while the rest of the funds will be spent in Congo DR.
Ascott has appealed to Chipili Town Council management and the general public to help the contractor have a conducive environment during its operations; while Chipili Town Council chairperson Isaac Kafwimbi has advised GED Africa not to import casual labour.
Kafwimbi said engaging local labour will help alleviate poverty levels among youths of Chipili district. He was speaking during a meeting with the contractor and Development Bank of Southern Africa at Mwenda Primary School before the contractor proceeded to conduct an environmental assessment inspection of the road.
He said the road will be important to the development of the newly created Chipili District. “I am privileged to have a meeting with your team (GED Africa) in Chipili district. This road will bring development for our people,” Kafwimbi said.
He however cautioned the contractor to avoid importing casual labour because Chipili district had capable youth who could be employed as casuals.
Kafwimbi said the contract should be able to empower locals through employment of casual workers. He further advised the GED Africa not to abandon the contract along the way like other contractors in the district. “Don’t run away like other contractors who have run away. You must expedite your works in order to complete within the schedule,” Kafwimbi said.
Meanwhile, Chipili District Commissioner Willie Mumba said he was happy that GED Africa was in his district to connect Chipili to SADC country.