Some residents of Kasenengwa district in Eastern province have appealed to the government to find another contractor to work on the Chipata-Msoro road.
Christopher Mwanza from Mboza ward, has told the Zambia News and Information Services (ZANIS), that most parts of the road have become impassable since the onset of the rains. Mr Mwanza said residents felt some relief after seeing a contractor moving on site to start working on the road.
He said the residents are now disappointed to learn that the contract is one of those which the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development has cancelled.
He complained that farmers in the area are being charged more than they can pay to transport their farming inputs because transporters are risking their vehicles on a bad road. Mr Mwanza has since asked the government to listen to the cries of the farmers and quickly work on the road.
“We want to continue appealing to the government to work on the Chipata-Msoro road which has been in a deplorable state for a long time. Currently, we are paying more to have our farming inputs transported due to the bad state of the road,” he said.
Another resident, Charles Mbewe, said ambulances carrying patients from Chizenje and Khoza rural health centres to Chipata Central Hospital face challenges as most stretches of the road are almost impassable.
Mr Mbewe added that even though residents are happy that the government has released about K7 million towards the rehabilitation of crossing points along the road, there is a need to quickly find another contractor to continue with the road works.
In 2020, government engaged Norwood Enterprises to work on the 85 kilometres stretch of the Chipata-Msoro road at a cost of over K99 million but the contract was terminated late last year.
Meanwhile, Livestock farmers in Mwansabombwe district in Luapula province have appealed to government to consider putting up dip tanks in the area so as to combat animal diseases. One of the farmers, Gershom Bwalya, said lack of dip tanks in the district is making it difficult for farmers to fight animal diseases.
Mr Bwalya explained that the recent increase in the population of animals in Mwansabombwe should compel government to construct dip tanks to enhance and promote animal health.
He said the construction of dip tanks will not only help fight animal diseases but also encourage more people to venture into livestock farming.
And Mr Bwalya has expressed happiness that many Mwansabombwe residents, who previously relied on fishing for survival, have now shown interest to venture into livestock farming. Mr Bwalya observed that the depleting fish stocks in the Luapula river is driving many people into livestock farming.
But Luapula Province Veterinary Officer, Elasto Zulu, revealed that Mwansabombwe district already has a dip tank which is not being used due to some missing equipment.
Dr Zulu said his department is however working hard to operationalise the dip tank so that livestock farmers in the area can begin to use it.
He has since advised farmers to access various government financing facilities to establish communal dip tanks. Meanwhile, Dr Zulu has allayed fears of serious animal diseases such as the foot and mouth and contagious bovine pleuropneumonia among others in Luapula province.
He explained that Luapula province remains one of the most ideal areas for livestock farming because it is a disease-free zone.
In other news – Mpali actor is imprisoned for disrespect
Shazzy Phiri, a well-known actor from Zambia who portrays Hambe Nguzu in the popular telenovela Mpali, gave court attendees at the Lusaka Magistrates’ Court a thrilling unscripted real life drama yesterday as he sprinted out of a courtroom after being given a 14-day prison sentence for contempt of court. Learn more