Zambia, Botswana sign contract for Kazungula Bridge construction
Livingstone, Sept 5/14, ZANIS——-The Zambian government and Republic of Botswana have today signed a contract for the construction of the over US $ 160 million road and rail bridge across the Zambezi River at Kazungula.
Road Development Agency (RDA) Chief Executive Officer, Bernard Chiwala, signed on behalf of Zambia while Ministry of Transport and Communications, Transport Hub Coordinator, Goitsemang Morekisi, signed on behalf of Botswana.
The US $161, 961, 304.84 million contract is funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), African Development Bank (AfDB), the Zambian Government and Republic of Botswana.
Mr Chiwala said contrary to media reports which lacked research, JICA was still a financier on the Kazungula Bridge Project.
He said the successful completion of the project would transform Zambia into a land-linked country.
Meanwhile, Ms Morekisi said the project had potential to refuel the economies of Zambia and Botswana, the SADC region and Africa as a whole.
And in a joint statement, the two parties described the signing ceremony as a historic and momentous occasion as the people of the two countries had waited for the bridge for years.
“The lack of a permanent crossing at Kazungula has posed a serious bottleneck to the smooth flow of traffic and hampered the full development of trade between the two nations and the SADC region,” the statement read in part.
The statement further stated that the construction of the bridge would improve traffic flow and facilitate easy crossing of various goods and services at Kazungula across the Zambezi River and eliminate the risks associated with operating pontoons.
The other benefits cited were integration of economies served by the North South Corridor, reduction in transit time from 36 hours to two hours, reduction in transportation costs, increased traffic flow in the region and increased revenue for both countries.
Daewoo Engineering Corporation of South Korea is the contractor engaged to construct the Kazungula Bridge over a period of four years and the scope of work includes construction of a 923-metre rail bridge and approach ramps.