Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Development Vincent Mwale says the completion of some infrastructure developmental projects in the country will delay because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
He says the Coronavirus pandemic which has forced many countries to close their borders as a measure to stop the spread of disease has affected the construction sector.
Speaking in an interview today in Chipata, Mr Mwale said that the construction of bridges that were washed away during the just ended rainy season and other projects will be delayed to be completed due non-importation of important materials in the country as a result of the closure of borders by many countries.
“Most materials used in the construction sector are not manufactured locally and that with most borders closed it will be difficulty contractors to have their building materials delivered in good time.
“This COVID-19 pandemic which has forced many Countries to close their boarders has badly affected the infrastructure development in the country,” he said.
Mr Mwale said the materials which were supposed to be imported into the country for projects have been delayed to arrive due to the lockdown in many countries.
“Despite the pandemic affecting the progression of projects government is committed to ensuring that that bridges that were damaged during rainy season are repaired,’’ he said.
Mr Mwale said government will soon find means of ensuring that bridges that were damaged during the just ended rainy season are worked on before the next rainy season if countries will not open up their borders any time soon.
Mr Mwale expressed happiness with the rehabilitation works on the 90 kilomters damaged stretch of Chipata –Lundazi road.
“I am happy that contractor Shachitari Construction Company which was awarded a K360 million contract to construct 90 kilometres of the damaged section of the road has started the works,” he said.
Mr Mwale expressed optimism that the contractor will carry out good works and use local man power.
“I expect the contractor to employ local youths in the three districts where the road passes as way of empowering the locals,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mr Mwale has requested the Ministry of Education in Chipanagali district to avail him a list of pupils who are in examination classes.
He said once the list of pupils is given to him, he will provide the pupils with reusable face masks as the schools are scheduled to reopen on June 1.
Mr Mwale said the masks will be donated to the Ministry of Education in Chipanagali district for pupils in examination classes.
“We are requesting school authorities to report to the district education board secretary’s office the numbers of students in examination classes in their schools. I am ready to support the pronouncement by President Edgar Lungu by providing masks to all the students that are in examination classes,” he said.