Lungu chides minister over in­com­plete projects

Daily Nation Newspaper - - FRONT PAGE - By NA­TION RE­PORTER

The Pres­i­dent was not happy that seven bridges that form part of the Mwom­boshi Dam, had not been com­pleted.

PRES­I­DENT Edgar Lungu yesterday chided Agri­cul­ture minister, Michael Katambo for mak­ing him com­mis­sion a pro­ject that was in­com­plete.

The Pres­i­dent was not happy that seven bridges that form part of the Mwom­boshi Dam, had not been com­pleted. He was also noted that fam­i­lies dis­placed dur­ing the con­struc­tion of the dam had not yet been com­pen­sated. He told the minister to be hon­est with the in­for­ma­tion pre­sented so that he also can make bet­ter de­ci­sion from an in­formed point of view. And gov­ern­ment plans to roll out bulk wa­ter ir­ri­ga­tion in­fra­struc­ture projects that will bring about long-term sus­tain­able so­cial eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment across the coun­try, Pres­i­dent Edgar Lungu said yesterday. Speak­ing dur­ing the han­dover cer­e­mony of the World Bank- funded Mwom­boshi Dam and reser­voir in Chisamba yesterday, Pres­i­dent Lungu said the pro­ject demon­strated the ad­vance­ment of ir­ri­ga­tion agri­cul­ture in Zam­bia. He de­scribed the pro­ject as a con­spic­u­ous and ul­tra-mod­ern ex­am­ple of many projects that Gov­ern­ment had con­tin­ued to roll out un­der its ro­bust in­fra­struc­ture de­vel­op­ment aimed at fos­ter­ing na­tional de­vel­op­ment. “This pro­ject is a demon­stra­tion of our coun­try turn­ing a page in the ad­vance­ment of ir­ri­ga­tion agri­cul­ture in Zam­bia. The pro­ject is a stamp on the PF Gov­ern­ment’s sig­nif­i­cant strides be­ing made in in­fra­struc­ture de­vel­op­ment aimed at fos­ter­ing na­tional de­vel­op­ment. “The Mwom­boshi Dam has given an un­prece­dented trans­for­ma­tion to the sec­tor, a sign that we are headed for bet­ter prospects in agri­cul­ture,” Pres­i­dent Lungu said. He com­mended the Chi­nese con­trac­tor, An­hui For­eign Eco­nomic Con­struc­tion Com­pany (AFECC), for com­plet­ing works, months be­fore sched­ule. He chided con­trac­tors which were in the habit of aban­don­ing works and some­times ex­tend­ing the com­ple­tion pe­riod for projects, say­ing the work­man­ship ex­hib­ited by the con­trac­tor on the Mwom­boshi dam must be a wakeup call to them. “This achieve­ment is a se­ri­ous chal­lenge and a wakeup call to all con­trac­tors in all sec­tors of our econ­omy, who have a ten­dency of aban­don­ing works and fail­ure to fin­ish projects within the stip­u­lated time-frame. This un­called for and ret­ro­gres­sive prac­tice is preva­lent in most of the projects across Zam­bia and it is costly for us in our quest to foster na­tional de­vel­op­ment. And AFECC chair­per­son Qingde Jiang paid trib­ute to the Zam­bians who par­tic­i­pated in the con­struc­tion of the dam say­ing they showed high level of ded­i­ca­tion, ef­fi­ciency, and hard work. Mr. Jiang  said works on the dam were done with strict ad­her­ence to tech­ni­cal re­quire­ments and thanked the lo­cal com­mu­nity for sup­port­ing it. Mean­while, Agri­cul­ture Minister Michael Katambo said the pro­ject would con­trib­ute to food se­cu­rity in Zam­bia as the lo­cal com­mu­nity will now start pro­duc­ing food through ir­ri­ga­tion as op­posed de­pend­ing on rain-fed crops.

Pres­i­dent Lungu

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