Fr Bwalya says PF’s Unfinished Road Projects a Health Hazard
ABZ leader Fr Frank Bwalya notes that some roads that were graded paving way for further refurbishment have been abandoned leaving a mass of dust as they are not even watered to reduce the impact.
Fr Bwalya advises that there should be enough resources before such works are commenced despite the political hype around them.
Below is the full statement:
ALLIANCE FOR BETTER ZAMBIA
THURSDAY, JULY 31, 2014.
We have noticed with great concern the slow pace at which some road rehabilitation projects are being done. In many cases the projects stall for a long time with no sign of when the works would be resumed let alone when they would be completed.
This scenario is posing a serious health risk to communities in which such road rehabilitation projects are being done. In many cases roads are graded and left for a long time without watering to reduce dust. As such, people are suffering from coughing and respiratory complications. The dust is also proving to be a great inconvenience to residents around the projects as motorists speed on such roads raising clouds of dust that pose unnecessary environmental problems.
There is no doubt that our people appreciate the rehabilitation of roads especially those within their communities. However, we think that the benefit of the roads should not be a justification to expose our people to unnecessary health risks and all kinds of inconvenience especially in cases where roads are blocked for prolonged periods.
Against this background we urge the PF government to improve management of projects. They should avoid starting projects especially road rehabilitation projects before securing money for the whole project. Moreover, the Road Development Agency (RDA) should ensure timely disbursement of funds to avoid stalling of such projects.
We are also calling upon the Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA) to strictly ensure that relevant environmental laws and practices are followed by contractors undertaking road rehabilitation projects. ZEMA should be proactive and protect people from environmental risks that come with road construction and rehabilitation works.
Fr. Frank Bwalya
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