Lack of funds retards completion of Isoka-Muyombe road project

Isoka-Muyombe-Chama-Lundazi Road. Supervision of the Upgrading of the Isoka-Muyombe-Chama-Lundazi Road: Lot1: Isoka (T2/D790 Junction) to km 90+000 (D790) – (90km) in Northern Province, Zambia

China Jiangxi Cooperation, a contractor engaged to upgrade the 90 km stretch of the Isoka-Muyombe road from gravel to bituminous standards in Muchinga province has not been paid for the past six months.

China Jiangxi Site Agent, Sichan Huang disclosed this yesterday when Muchinga Minister Colonel Gerry Chanda inspected the on-going works.

Mr Huang said a non payment of funds is affecting the smooth implementation of the project.

Mr Huang told the minister that the project has faced so many challenges starting with designs which were later successfully re-done.

He added that after re-designing, works started progressing well but that currently it was funds which are not available hence the slow pace of the works.

Mr Huang revealed that in November this year his company after seeing delays in funding from the Zambian government went ahead to get a loan from Chinese bank of 10 million USA Dollars in order to go ahead with the planned works on the road project.

He said so far 40 kilometre stretch of the road has been upgraded to bituminous standard while works on the remaining 50 km have continued.

Mr Huang also explained that the redesigned road on the mountain cut is on schedule and that his company is making frantic effort to tar the area that has become suitable for heavy trucks to use.

And Colonel Chanda has asked Road Development Agency (RDA) to explain why they have delayed in processing payments for China Jiangxi cooperation for over 6 months.

Colonel Chanda said that it was sad that the contractor had not been paid for over six months resulting in delays to finish the project adding that he is going to write to President Micheal Sata to express his sadness over the prevailing situation with regards to the Isoka-Muyombe road.

The minister lamented that six months is too much for road project to be carried out without money.

The provincial minister said the PF Policy on development issues is to start and complete.

“RDC must explained why this let down on this project,” charged Colonel Chanda.

The 90 kilometres Isoka – Muyombe started in January 2011 at an initial cost of 42 million USA Dollars but due to delays it is now pegged at 64 million USA Dollars.