By NATION REPORTER
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.