————Government will soon embark on a programme to rehabilitating existing water ways and establish new ones across all major water bodies in the country.
Ministry of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication Permanent Secretary -PS, Muyenga Atanga explains that government is currently undertaking a feasibility study of all water ways in the country to see how best works could be done.
Dr. Atanga said this in Nchelenge District yesterday when he paid a courtesy call on Sub-Chief Muyembe of the Lunda People at Chisenga Island.
He said Government is determined to ease the movement of people and goods across water bodies by ensuring that all canals are made passable.
Dr. Atanga said government will soon start dredging all blocked canals across the country, and will consider establishing up new ones in areas such as Lunga District.
He said there are also plans to improve mobile phone communications in areas that have network problems by installing new communication towers.
Speaking earlier, Mweru Water Transport Board Manager, Charles Lukonde said three canals with an average length of 25 kilometres need to be urgently worked on in Nchelenge.
He named the most critical water-ways that require urgent rehabilitation as the Kanyembo-Luapula, the Shabo-Chisenga, and the Kampampi-Chisenga canals.
Mr. Lukonde explained that the water-ways have in the recent past been worked on using labour based methods, which he said has proved to be ineffective.
The Mweru Water Transport Board Manager explained that residents of Chisenga Island are currently forced to paddle for over Nine hours across Luapula River and Lake Mweru in order to access Nchelenge mainland.
Mr. Lukonde recommended that there is be a dredger to carry out the works, adding that a dredger was last used in 1999.
And Nchelenge District Commissioner , Joseph Chisakula has welcomed the move by government, saying it will stimulate economic development in the area.
Mr. Chisakula said the development will improve fish trading and other goods between the Islands and Nchelenge mainland.
Mr. Chisakula said the proposed rehabilitation of water ways will also enable government to provide quality health services to the people on Chisenga and Kilwa Islands.
Transport, Works, Supply and Communication Permanent Secretary is on conducted tour of Islands and Water-ways in the Country to ascertain the amount of work required in order to improve water transport.