IT cannot be over emphasised that good roads play a vital role in the economic development of any country.
It goes without saying that growth in the agricultural sector depends on a well developed road network.
As a result there is the urgent need for improvement of the nation’s existing road infrastructure.
It is evident that the bad condition of any road network cannot enhance economic and social progress of the country.
In the past, there were assertions that Zambia stumbled on growth rather than achieve it through deliberate and conscious economic policies due to neglect of road infrastructure.
This was because the leaders at the time failed to realise over the years that infrastructure deficiency inherent in the country.
In September last year, President Michael Sata launched the Link Zambia 8000 Road Project, a robust programme which has spread across the country.
He emphasised his administration’s appreciation of the importance of good roads to the economic well-being of the people in the country.
The President said the implementation of the first phase of 8000 kilometres of rural and urban roads would spur economic development, adding that more roads would be constructed in the coming years to open up the state for economic development.
Sable Transport and Construction Limited was engaged by the Road Development Agency (RDA) to work on township roads in Lundazi District popularly known as ‘Kanele Box One’.
The contractor is almost completing the tarring works in which the construction firm has tarred about 13.2 kilometres out of 15 kilometres.
“We are happy with the works being executed by Sable Construction Company and we are happy that the construction company was constructing the roads”.
Sylvester Tembo a businessman of Dunda Township said of late, the country has emerged as one of the great economies of the world because of the positive step which the country had undertaken in the road network to be efficient to maximise economic and social benefits.
According to Local Government and Housing Minister Emerine Kabanshi, the rehabilitation of the roads would change the face of the country.
She explained that the Patriotic Front (PF) Government was focusing on promotion investment in the present and future well-being of the majority of people especially the poor through the good road networks.
Since the PF came into Government there was a strong positive correlation between a country’s economic development and the quality of its road network because roads were an integral part of the transport system.
Eastern Province PF chairperson Lameck Mangani said the party had shown that Zambia was moving in the right direction.
Mr Mangani said the good road construction requires rocket skill which Sable Construction Company was currently doing.
He said successive Governments such as PF had unveiled several development plans aimed at improving road infrastructure in the country.
Mr Mangani explained that the province needed huge infrastructure development such as the roads.
Lundazi Council chairperson Godfrey Mapili expressed happiness with the quality of works being executed by Sable Construction Company Limited on township roads.
Mr Mapili said that 13.2 kilometres of the road network had been nicely done by Sable contrary to what other critics were saying.
He said the tarring works of the roads by Sable would really change the face of the town, adding that the local authority would put up street lights.
“About 13 kilometers of the works on township roads in Lundazi District have been completed by Sable Construction Company. The works on this road are commendable,” Mr Mapili said.
He said he was aware that mistakes in construction work have the effect of shortening their life span and he appealed to the contractor to expedite the remaining stretch of the tarring works of township roads.
Sable director Nazir Alloo explained that the nature of the work done on the Lundazi township roads was according to the design that was in the contract.
Mr Alloo said the company was just chipping and adding a layer of slurry.
He however, said Government’s payment system has improved unlike in the past when they were delays to pay for road works especially for the Chipata-Mfuwe stretch.
Though the country may not be there yet in terms of road infrastructural development, but observers have commended the current Government the road sector priority.
Sable managing director Iqbal Alloo said his company was doing its best in the road construction.
“My Company is trying to do its best as a local contractor to improve standards. I am really satisfied with the works currently being done,” he said.
Transport, Works, Supply and Communications Deputy Minister Mwimba Malama said the road projects would be achieved with the progressive Government under the Link Zambia 8000 Road Project which was launched by President Sata.
Mr Malama commended the Government for the strides made in achieving significant progress in the rehabilitation, construction, reconstruction, expansion and maintenance of key arterial roads across the country.
These investments can been seen as key to keeping the economy going and building durable infrastructure that adds to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
The tarring of the township roads by Sable will see an enhancement of the economic growth and the general efficiency of the public service delivery system across the district.
[times of zambia]