The Government through the Road Development Agency (RDA) embarked on a project to rehabilitate the Mongu-Limulunga road and upgrade Muoyo road to bituminous standard in Western Province of Zambia.
RDA Regional Manager for Western Province Eng. Paul Habasimbi said the Mongu-Limulunga road was a design and build project.
Eng. Habasimbi explained that construction materials were scarce because the area where the contractor was getting them was 230 kilometres away from site.
“The contractor has set up a plant where they have mobilized all the materials needed for the road to be complete. The distance covered to get the materials has also added to the cost of the road,” Eng. Habasimbi said.
Eng. Habasimbi said this when Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development Minister Hon. Charles Milupi toured the road.
The US$ 30 million road project commenced in 2019 and was supposed to be completed in June 2021. However, due to cash flow challenges, the project has been extended.
Hon. Milupi said he would engage the ministry of Finance to consider releasing the funds for the project.
“The certified works on the 3.2 kilometres is worth about USD$6 million but the contractor has been paid 3.2 million to date,” he said.
The minister said if the contractor was not paid on time, Government would spend more money in terms of interest.
Due to limited resources, Government would often engage in Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) as an alternative financing solution.
And AVIC International Holding Corporation Chief Engineer for the project Ben Zhou said once completed, the road would last 15 years without maintenance and 50 more years with good maintenance.
Mr. Zhou said if Government released the remaining balance for the project, the contractor would complete the works in two months.
The major scope of the works includes the following: drainage works, construction of pavement layers, ancillary related works, extraction of materials from borrow pits and quarry.
Overall physical progress stands at 19 percent. The Contractor has surfaced approximately 3.2 km on Mongu-Limulunga road.
Meanwhile, Western Province Minister Hon. Kapelwa Mbangweta was hopeful that the Government through the ministry of Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development would work towards completing most developmental projects in the region.