Minister disowns Nakonde water project termination
Nakonde, January 21, 2014, ZANIS…Chambeshi Water and Sewerage Company
has with immediate effect terminated a K36 million water project in
Nakonde District of Muchinga Province for undisclosed reasons.
Meanwhile, Nakonde District Commissioner James Singoyi has disclosed that about 400
jobs have been lost following the termination of the water project in Nakonde district.
Government through the Ministry of Local Government and housing
engaged Shaftex to construct a modern water treatment plant in Nakonde
in October 2012.
This came to light yesterday when Muchinga Province Minister Colonel
Gerry Chanda visited the project on his continued tour of Government
projects in the district.
Shaftex Project Manager Joseph Mutale told the minister and his
entourage that two weeks ago they received instructions on phone not
to go ahead with the project.
Mr Mutale said they have not been working for two weeks now following
the instructions adding that the project had reached 85 percent completion level and
they were only waiting for the arrival of the installation pumps from Spain which
are expected in the country this week.
Mr Mutale said with the arrival of the pumps, works done so far would
have been pushed to 95 percent while the remaining 5 percent would
have been for civil works only.
The Site Manager has since appealed to the Provincial Minister for
intervention saying chances of Nakonde residents having access to
quality water supply in the quickest possible time will remain a pipe
dream if the situation is not normalized.
He also complained of poor flow of funds from the Ministry of Local
Government through Chambeshi for the water project.
And reacting to the complaints by Shaftex Site Manager, Provincial
Minister Colonel Chanda said as far as he was concerned, the project
has not been terminated because he was not consulted.
Col Chanda said he inspected the K36 million water project two
weeks ago and was satisfied with the works done so far.
“I have been taken aback by the latest development with regards to
this project and I can not allow this to go ahead because I was not
consulted. I terminated the Mpika Township road contract for the same
Shaftex but that did not mean that even a project in Nakonde that was
doing fine should be terminated, ‘said Colonel Chanda.
Col Chanda said the water project in Nakonde is an initiative of
President Micheal Sata who during the run up to the 2011 tripartite
elections promised the people in the area that his Government would
ensure that the quality of water supply in the border town improves.
Col Chanda said Government cannot allow the people of Nakonde to
be drinking dirty water.
He has since asked Chambeshi water to explain to him the rationale for terminating the project.
And Nakonde District Commissioner James Singoyi said the district
administration is also surprised that Chambeshi has terminated a
contract that was doing fine.
Mr. Singoyi said the termination of the contract will affect the
supply of water in the district adding that people of Nakonde have
suffered for a long time and cannot continue to suffer like that.
Mr. Singoyi said the termination of the contract has resulted in the
loss of about 400 jobs.