—Nchelenge District Commissioner (DC), Royd Chakaba, has called for sustainable investment in the energy sector amid fuel crisis in the area.
Mr Chakaba said Nchelenge district is economically active and called for both local and foreign investors to seize the enabling business environment and put up filling stations to address the fuel shortage.
He said the current shortage of the fuel in the area is a crisis that must be addressed through massive investment in the energy sector.
The DC said the fuel energy is crucial to the development of the country especially the rural districts like Nchelenge that are yearning for the road networks and infrastructural developments.
Mr Chakaba said this in a statement to ZANIS last Friday in the midst of fuel shortage as the district went for two months without the commodity.
He described the fuel shortage that has hit the cosmopolitan fishing town as frustrating and charged that it has the potential to negate the developmental gains that have been posted by the government.
He observed that the PF government has embarked on various developmental programmes such as the rehabilitation of the township roads, infrastructural developments in schools and rural health centres among others.
However, the DC said the acute shortage of the fuel has the potential to undermine the huge government investments aimed at improving the livelihood of the people especially in rural districts.
Nchelenge district, which also supplies the commodity to Chienge district in Luapula, Kaputa district in the Northern Province and the neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo, has had no fuel for two months now.
Mr Chakaba complained that the cost of doing business has significantly gone up because of transport costs as the fuel could now only be fetched from Kawambwa district about 80 km from Nchelenge.
He observed that running vehicles has equally become expensive as the owners have been left with no option but to buy the commodity, which often is not of good quality, from the black market at a high price.
Meanwhile, the Nchelenge District Council (NDC) in Luapula Province has secured a piece of land exclusively for investments in the banking and energy sectors.
Council Secretary (CS), Sishumba Mulowa, said the local authority has already identified the piece of land that has been idle and that it is in the process of doing paper work to avoid litigations.
Mr Mulowa disclosed this when he briefed Nchelenge District Commissioner (DC), Royd Chakaba, over the weekend about the move by the Local Authority.
Mr Mulowa said the availability of reliable banking services and filling stations will stir investor confidence in the district and will see a lot of developmental activities being conceived.
He said the availability and accessibility of reliable banking services and sustainable fuel supply is all that is required to accelerate development of Nchelenge.
The CS observed that the absence of big banks, the constant power outages and the erratic fuel supply is to blame for the under development of the district that is endowed with abundant resources.
Mr Mulowa has since advised potential bidders to approach his management for any possible engagement.