Government is planning to connect Zambia’s only port, Mpulungu, in Northern province to Kasama by a railway line in order to enhance the transportation of goods into and outside the country.
Transport and Communication Deputy Minister Panji Kaunda said government will soon commence the construction of a railway line which will link Mpulungu to Kasama, branching off from Nseluka area.
Colonel Kaunda said Mpulungu port has a strategic importance to the country as it was an exit and entry point for goods to and from countries in the Great Lakes region.
He said government has realised that besides it being important to the great lakes countries and to Zambia, Mpulungu port was the hub of the economy in the district hence the decision by his ministry to redesign and expand it to international standards.
He reaffirmed government’s commitment to ensuring that the harbour was redesigned and connected to the provincial headquarters by the railway line which he said would be constructed soon.
Col. Kaunda is in Northern province with the traffic enforcement joint operations team to conduct motorized traffic operation in order to educate and punish erring motorists using Zambian roads.
Earlier, Mpulungu District Commissioner, Juliana Chuzu called for the establishment of a Road Traffic and Safety Agency (RTSA) office in the district to facilitate the issuance of the drivers’ licenses to motorists.
Ms. Chuzu said Mpulungu was expanding fast economically and the demand for drivers’ licenses was increasing because many residents have bought vehicles for both business and domestic use.
She said vehicle owners and drivers were paying a lot of money to get drivers’ licenses and other documents as they are required to travel to the Kasama RTSA office which is over 200 kilometres (km) away.
Ms. Chuzu noted that there were a lot of motor vehicles in Mpulungu district which are not
registered hence the need for government to urgently establish RTSA offices or introduce mobile services to the area.
She has since commended government through the Rural Roads Unit (RRU) for the construction of rural roads and the rehabilitation of the Mbala-Mpulungu and Kasama road.
She said the unit was doing a good job on the rural roads but appealed to government to equip RRU with adequate equipment so it can continue working on roads without being interrupted.