Slow pace of road works worry Kabwe DC

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Slow pace of road works worry Kabwe DC

Kabwe, Apr 23/13 ZANIS———Kabwe District Commissioner, Patrick Chishala, has raised concern on the pace at which the contractor, Asphalt Roads Zambia Limited [ARZ], is moving in their road construction works in Kabwe.

The slow pace has prompted Mr Chishala to call for a meeting with the contractor where he observed that Kabwe residents were aware of the unnoticeable effects that the prevailing dust emissions have on them, hence their continued complaints on the pace at which the contractor was moving.

However, Mr Chishala advised that the routine watering of these roads before the final tarring phase is done is the only feasible solution to what he described as an agitating health hazard.

He further lamented that it is indispensable to mention that Kabwe is a lead prone area, hence the ardent need for the contractor to hasten the construction works and most significantly to be suppressing the dust emissions resulting from the on-going road works which are apparently affecting residents.

“These dust emissions have got an apparent multiplier effect, as residents in the Central Business District (CBD) and respective residential areas are now refusing to paint their shops owing to the dust emissions. You contractor said your pace was being set by the rains but apparently the rains are now gone, hence the resident’s continued speculations that maybe you do not have the necessary equipment,” he said.

Meanwhile, the construction company representative, Jared Musonda, refuted the allegations and emphatically reaffirmed that ARZ has in place all the necessary equipment required to complete the on-going road works in the Central Business Districts and selected residential areas of Kabwe and Kapiri Mposhi districts.  

“We have all the necessary equipment on site but it is apparent that the complaining residents do not understand that when certain equipment is not needed at that particular phase of construction, then we do not see why we should have it on site,” Mr Musonda said.

He further stated: “We are within the course of our 14 months contract with government and we can reaffirm that we will finish the road works according to the stipulated time in the contract in December.”

And on dust emission mitigation, Mr Musonda said according to the contract, the company has two water bowsers stipulated there but they actually have acquired four in order that they hasten the dust emission suppression process.

He further stated that the most tedious level of road construction is the earthworks whereas the paving phase is quite an easy stage which only takes weeks.

“I can, therefore, say that we have done 80 per cent of the works in Kabwe so far. And I would also want to state that part of the contract is also in Kapiri Mposhi District where I can reaffirm that surveillance works are underway,” Mr Musonda reaffirmed.

The previous year, government gave a KR165million contract to ARZ Limited to construct 34 kilometres of urban roads in Kabwe and Kapiri Mposhi districts and the works are apparently underway but the District Commissioner has coincided with the residents in Kabwe in  raising concerns on the pace at which the contractor is moving, describing it as very slow.