Kazungula bridge consultancy works signed
Livingstone, March 1, ZANIS ——- Zambia and Botswana has signed a 16.7 million United States dollars consultancy works with a joint team of consultancy firms for the construction of the Kazungula Bridge project.
And the International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Assistant Representative Zambia office, Yosei Suzuki said as an implementing agency JICA will provide full assistance and support for the
completion of the bridge project in collaboration with African Development Bank.
Speaking when he witnessed the signing ceremony held at Chrismar hotel between the two countries and the joint venture consultant team comprising seven consultancy firms held at Chrismar Hotel yesterday, Road Development Agency (RDA) Board Chairman Willie Nsanda said there is need for proactive collaboration between Zambia and Botswana to ensure that construction of the Kazungula Bridge starts once consultancy works is completed.
He added that closer cooperation between the two countries therefore will help to speed works on the bridge thereby increasing trade.
“We need to get our hands together to ensure that consultancy works are done so that actual construction of the bridge can begin,” said Mr Nsanda.
He emphasised that it was therefore important for the consultant to finish the consultancy works so that the physical construction of the bridge could begin.
Mr Nsanda said the government was happy that after a series of meetings on the construction of the bridge since 2002, such efforts were now bearing fruits.
The seven joint venture consultancy team, include, Nippon Koei company limited, Chodai company limited, Arcus GIBB(pty)limited, Bothagka Burrow Botsawana (pty), CPP Botswana (pty) and Zulu Burrow Development consultants limited.
The scope of consultancy works will include design, review of tender documentation and supervision of the construction of Kazungula Bridge.
And Botswana Transport Hub Coordinator Thapelo Leareg also pointed out that the bridge once completed will ensure closer ties between the two countries thereby increasing trade and revenue not only between the two nations but the entire Southern African Development Community (SADC).
Mr Leareg was optimistic that the bridge will help to break artificial barriers and assist citizens in the two countries to work in either country without work permits.
“I look forward to the day the bridge will be completed and see citizens in both countries working in either country without work permits,” said Mr Leareg.
And Mr Yosei Suzuki said as an implementing agency JICA will provide full assistance and support for the completion of the bridge project in collaboration with African Development Bank to link
the two countries and also provide interconnectivity of Southern Africa as a whole.
He said JICA was pleased to have a joint consultancy team consisting of six firms adding that as implementing agencies JICA hopes to contribute to the development and growth of the two countries.
Mr Suzuki said as financiers, JICA had high hope that quality consultancy will be done and also that consultants will become focal points of good communication between the stakeholders.
He also said JICA expects through the services of consultants, that safety and sustainability of the bridge will be enhanced.
“JICA also expects, through the services of consultants that the safety and sustainability of the bridge will be enhanced and we also hope that the design in which safety are secured and maintenance after completion is well considered in the design,” said Mr Suzuki.
He also emphasized that supervision works was one of the important role of a consultant saying the agency expects the schedule from commencement of construction to completion to be drawn up properly.
Mr Suzuki further thanked the two countries and the joint steering committee for their tireless efforts to drive the project forward.
JICA signed loan agreement with the governments of Botswana and Zambia to provide loans of up to 11.612 billion Japanese Yen for assistance towards the construction of the bridge whose scope will also include construction of approach roads and other facilities with actual construction works expected to commence by 31st March, 2014.
The actual construction of the bridge will gobble 259 million United States Dollars.
And Nippon Koei Africa Region office Representative Ken Kawabe said the project was a challenging one but that with support and cooperation from both government and other stake holders good quality consultancy works will be done.
“This prestigious project is challenging one and we hope with your full support and cooperation we will be able to do professional job within the stipulated time frame,” Mr Kawabe said.
Earlier Road Development Agency (RDA) Chief Executive Officer Bernard Chiwala said the signing of consultancy works was a spring board to preparatory works towards the implementation of the bridge project whose physical construction is expected to be completed by 2018.