KATIMA MULILO – Roads Authority (RA) will only repair roads that were damaged by floods in the Zambezi Region once flood water subside. Zambezi Regional Governor, Lawrence Sampofu revealed this at a media briefing on Monday, after his meeting with RA CEO, Conrad Lutombi.
Roads that has been washed away include the Izimwe-Nakabolelwa, Namalubi-Isize-Luhonono road, and the Ngoma-Ibbu road. The governor stated that given the fact that the water has already dried up in the Ngoma-Muyako road, RA will start working on that stretch of the road this week.
He however pointed out that “accessibility to Isuswa, Mutikitila and Ibbu schools as well as Ibbu clinic is still limited due to the water which has not receded on the access roads”.
“It must be noted that the repair in the Ngoma and Ibbu areas is to provide an immediate solution. A permanent solution which will include raising the road and revising the drainage system will form part of the detailed design for Bukalo-Muyako-Ngoma road upgrade to bitumen standards. The RA is currently busy with a feasibility study for the upgrading of this road to bitumen standards,” elaborated Sampofu.
The Izimwe-Nakabolelwa road where the water over topped the broad on several sections will be repaired and bladed once the water has receded. He added that due to the complex nature of the multimillion Namalubi-Isize-Luhonono road, the construction has been divided into two sections.
“Section A covers the road from Namalubi to Isize including the access road to the Kalimbeza rice farm, which is 24 km long. In the past, the contactor has only been working on Section A. During this flood, we did not experience any water overtopping the road on Section A, however, the culverts at kilometre 11 at Lisikili and Simusune were flowing at full capacity.
“This is a concern, should we experience heavier floods in the future. Therefore, the Roads Authority will review and change the drainage structures at Lisikili and Simusune channel to accommodate heavy flow of water,” said Sampofu.
He explained that Section B, which covers the section from Isize to Luhonono will only be worked on once the construction of Section A is done in early 2019. “The RA, taking into account the local knowledge, has revised drainage designs to include more culverts and 3 big bridges across the deeper and bigger channels,” he said.
At the same meeting, Lutombi handed over the authority’s five-year Strategic plan which he explained spells out its objectives which he says the parastatal he leads is on track to achieve.
He said the RA is on track to achieve its objectives. “When it comes to the gravel roads, we have almost started with all the roads which were highlighted. When it comes to bitumen roads, the target is that comes 2020, we are supposed to have constructed about 1 420 km, we are current standing at 1 100, so we only have a difference of less than 300 and we are very optimistic that we are going to achieve it,” said Lutombi.