Northwestern Province Minister, Nathaniel Mubukwanu has called on local authorities in the region to consider the proposed establishment of dry ports and truck parks as an opportunity to increase their revenue base.
Mr Mubukwanu said councils should take the opportunity as a business venture that will help raise revenue needed for their operations and service delivery.
“I think you as councils should view the establishment of the truck parks as an opportunity for you to increase your revenue and not always look to central government for the equalization fund,” Mr Mubukwanu advised.
He said the truck parks will help rid the central business district of congestion especially in Solwezi where every open space has been turned into a truck parking lot.
“Truckers are a source of worry and concern for us, because they have taken up every little open space available and makes the town look ugly,” he said.
ZANIS reports that the Provincial Minister was speaking in Solwezi yesterday, when Ministry of Transport and Communications Director of Transport, Nicholas Chikwenya called on him at his office.
He said the provincial administration would like the local authorities and youth cooperatives establish truck parks and not leave it to the private sector because they have the capacity.
“So establishment of truck parks, I think this is something that the local authorities can do, our young people can also do it, unless there is so much demand that would require the private sector to come on board, but that be done in a transparent manner,” Mr Mubukwanu said.
And Mr Chikwenya said with the emergence of COVID-19, the Ministry has realized that the indiscriminate parking of trucks along the different corridors is contributing to the spread.
He stated that the ministry is in the process of formulating a Statutory Instrument that will compel all trucks to park in designated areas in order to ensure that there is controlled parking of trucks in designated areas.
“Truck drivers who may be carrying diseases park anywhere and mingle with communities and in so doing they may end up spreading diseases.
“If you take Nakonde for instance, it is a hot spot for COVID-19 in Zambia, this is because we do not have truck parking facilities within that locality so drivers from Congo, Tanzania come into Nakonde mingle with the communities there and end up spreading the disease,” he said.
Mr Chikwenya said the ministry expects the process of establishing dry ports and truck parking sites to be driven by the provincial administration and the local authorities who are owners of the land.
In May 2019, Cabinet approved the national transport policy whose vision is to make Zambia an efficient and integrated transport system by 2028.