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HON. MILUPI ASSURES LOCAL CONTRACTORS ON PAYMENTS

National Council for Construction (NCC) Executive Director Eng. Ernest Nshindano during the launch of the Indigenous Zambian Contractors Association (IZCA) held at Pamodzi Hotel in Lusaka.

Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development Minister Hon. Charles Milupi says the New Dawn Government has heard the cries of the local contractors over delayed payments which in turn affects deliverables and quality works. 

Hon. Milupi reiterated the importance of ensuring that contracts awarded were not overpriced. 

“We intend to have a transparent, regularized and predictable modes of payment based on quality, delivery and competitive reasonable pricing. We intend and must get value for money on works done,” he said. 

The minister said this today in a speech read on his behalf by National Council for Construction (NCC) Executive Director Eng. Ernest Nshindano during the launch of the Indigenous Zambian Contractors Association (IZCA) held at Pamodzi Hotel in Lusaka. 

He said it was gratifying to be part of the launch of the IZCA and that Government was eager to elevate the lives of ordinary hardworking Zambians by putting indigenous Zambians first. 

“It is hoped that this organization (IZCA) will play a critical role which will be reflected through enhanced participation in the sector by indigenous Zambians,” he said.

 

IZCA President Humphrey Musonda.

IZCA President Humphrey Musonda said the Association was registered under the Registrar of Societies Act and was regulated by the NCC Act whose objectives were anchored around deliberate empowerment of indigenous Zambian people and creation of working clusters, joint ventures, common collateral and securities among Zambian contractors.

Mr. Musonda noted some of the challenges in the construction industry as delayed payments, perceived lack of capacity, miss information, lack of securities and lack of standardized Bill of Quantities (BoQ).

Road Development Agency (RDA) Director and Chief Executive Officer Eng. George Manyele said it was pleasing to note that the IZCA had been formed with the sole purpose of creating a platform and empowerment programmes in a well-coordinated and traceable manner.

RDA acting Director Communications and Corporate Affairs Anthony Mulowa delivering a speech on behalf of RDA CEO Eng. George Manyele.

In a speech read on his behalf by RDA acting Director Communications and Corporate Affairs Anthony Mulowa, Eng. Manyele said time was ripe for Zambian contractors to participate in the many projects and programmes the Government was undertaking through the RDA.

“The Agency stands ready to work with your Association (IZCA) to ensure that we build capacity among small and medium scale contractors so that in future they too can undertake much bigger jobs in the road construction sector. 

“Success in the construction industry will only be complete when local firms too get a fair share thereby retaining the dividends in the country,” he said.

 

Some IZCA members and invited guests following the proceeding.

WORLD BANK REP HAILS ZIRCP ROLL OUT

(L-R) RDA Director & CEO Eng. George Manyele (in reflective vest) and World Bank Country Manager Dr. Sahr Kpundeh join Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development Permanent Secretary Eng. Danny Mfune in cutting the ribbon signifying the handover of rehabilitated roads in Chibombo and Mkushi Districts. On the far right is Central Province Permanent Secretary Mr. Milner Mwanakampwe.

World Bank Country Manager Dr. Sahr Kpundeh has commended the Government for its commitment in the implementation of the Zambia Improved Rural Connectivity Project (ZIRCP). 

Dr. Kpundeh has urged the implementing Agencies of the Project to continue with the hard work which would create road connectivity and accessibility in rural areas. 

" Despite the effects of the COVID-19, commendable progress has been recorded on the project and we fully support the Governments ambition to create connectivity among the rural population," he said. 

He said this in Chibombo during the site visit by Government and World Bank officials of the ZIRCP. 

Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development Permanent Secretary Eng. Danny Mfune says a number of stakeholders had been invited to site to appreciate current works under the Zambia Improved Rural Connectivity Project (ZIRCP).

 

ZIRCP National Coordinator Mwata Sekeseke (far left) explaining to the delegation during the tour of the roads in Chibombo.

And Eng. Mfune has commended the Road Development Agency (RDA), the Project Team and Contractors for a job well done under Package 1 (Mkushi ) and 2 (Mumbwa, Chibombo) whose works have been completed. 

" A number of activities have been done on the project and I would like to commend the contracts Sino Hydro and China CAMC, RDA and the Project team for uplifting the lives of the people in rural areas. 

" We want stakeholders to be kept abreast with what is happening on the ground, hence this invitation," Eng. Mfune said.

 

A paved section at Chibombo old boma market.

LIVINGSTONE–SESHEKE ROAD TO BE REHABILITATED - HON MILUPI ASSURES

Livingstone - Sesheke road.

Minister of Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development Hon. Charles Milupi has assured the nation that the Government will rehabilitate the damaged section along the Livingstone – Sesheke road.

Hon. Milupi said the road was important to Zambia’s economy especially that it was an international route which facilitated the flow of imports and exports.

He said the current state of the road had compelled transporters of goods and services to resort to using the Mongu – Lusaka road, thereby putting pressure on the road and the temporary bridge across the Kafue River.

The minister said this when he inspected the Livingstone – Sesheke road. He was accompanied by the RDA Director and Chief Executive Officer, Eng. George Manyele and senior Government officials.

Minister of Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development Hon. Charles Milupi (second from left), RDA Chief Executive Officer Eng. George Manyele (immediate left), RDA Southern Province Regional Manager Eng. Emmanuel Kanguma and Ng’andu Consulting Project Manager Dr. Richard Kasongo during the inspection of the road.

Hon. Milupi further expressed sadness as to why the road was left to be in a bad state for a long time.

“No road should be allowed to deteriorate to the level of the current state of the Livingstone – Sesheke highway,” he said.

He said the road was likely to be considered for financing under the Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement because of its economic nature.

He said it was unfortunate that the previous administration boasted about undertaking massive infrastructure development when other key roads in the country had been left to deteriorate.

“The lesson from this is when you do a road, maintain it to ensure it lasts according to the desired lifespan,” Hon. Milupi said.

 

The Livingstone – Sesheke road.

ZIRCP GATHERS MOMENTUM

RDA Project Manager for World Bank funded Projects Eng. Nicholas Mulenga.

Road Development Agency (RDA) Project Manager for World Bank funded Projects Eng. Nicholas Mulenga says 780 kilometres of roads have so far been rehabilitated and handed over for maintenance under the Zambia Improved Rural Connectivity Project (ZIRCP).

Eng. Mulenga says seven works contracts worth US$ 62.8 million are currently running.

Eng. Mulenga also disclosed that various community infrastructure such as boreholes, market sheds, storage sheds and bus shelters had also been constructed.

“Seven works contracts are running and 780 kilometres of roads rehabilitated and handed-over to maintenance and various community infrastructure has been constructed,” he said when he highlighted the successes scored so far under the project. 

He said this in his presentation during a conducted joint site inspections of rehabilitated roads under the ZIRCP by Ministry of Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development Permanent Secretary Eng. Danny Mfune, World Bank Country Manager Dr. Sahr Kpundeh and RDA Director and Chief Executive Officer Eng. George Manyele in Chibombo, Central Province.

ZIRCP is a government initiative being implemented with support from International Development Association (IDA) – World Bank in the form of a credit to the amount of US$ 200 million with a project completion date of December 31, 2025.

One of the rehabilitated roads in Chibombo district.

ZIRCP aims to improve accessibility by rehabilitating and maintaining Feeder Roads Countrywide using the Output and Performance-based Road Contracts (OPRCs).

OPRC is a concept designed to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of road maintenance operations.

OPRC is a contracting approach in which the Contractor is paid not for “inputs” but rather for “outputs.”

This approach avoids premature deterioration of road asset in general and ensures that road users are accorded a level of service, which is adequate for their needs and at the same time keeping costs for providing this service down.

In Zambia, OPRCs have typically been five year -long Contracts comprising of rehabilitation and improvement and maintenance of the roads.

Eng. Mulenga said the works on the ongoing seven contracts covered a total of 1620 kilometres in several Districts across four Provinces.

“Works on Package 1 (Mkushi District) and Package 2 (Chibombo and Mumbwa Districts) in Central Province commenced in June 2019 and the total of 500km has been rehabilitated or improved and is now under maintenance for the next 3 years,” he said.

He said works were ongoing on Package 3 in Eastern Province, Packages 7 and 8 in Northern Province and Packages 9 and 10 in Luapula Province bringing total length under Contract on ZIRCP to 1620 kilometres.

Eng. Mulenga said the procurement of Packages 4, 12, 14 and 15 had advanced, and Contracts were expected to be signed in Dec 2021 for Packages 12 and 14 and early 2022 for Package 4 and 15.

Eng. Mulenga said this would bring the total length under Contract to approximately 2600 kilometres.

Additionally, North-Western, Copperbelt and Lusaka Provinces roads would go to tender starting early 2022 and before mid-2022 and Contracts are expected to commence before end of 2022.

The total network to be covered under ZIRCP will come to approximately 4300 kilometres.

Meanwhile, ZIRCP National Coordinator Mr. Mwata Sekeseke says the project was promoting labour intensive initiatives as an avenue of job creation.

Mr. Sekeseke said it is anticipated that about 25,000 jobs would be created during the project life cycle.

MONGU - LIMULUNGA ROAD WORKS TO BE COMPLETED SOON

A section of the Mongu-Limulunga road.

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.

A rehabilitated section of Mongu – Limulunga road.

 

Hon. Charles Milupi inspecting road works in Western Province.