THE skein of infrastructure projects being undertaken by the Government in various parts of Zambia is set to have the most transformational impact on the lives of local communities that Zambia has ever seen.
Yesterday, the Government signed yet another big-money infrastructure contract; K700 million with Sino Hydro China for the upgrading of the Kashikishi-Chienge road from a dirt stretch to one of bituminous standard.
Luapula is a great example of how the improvement of road infrastructure can impact the lives of communities, as Housing and Infrastructure Development Minister Ronald Chitotela has observed on his tour of the province this week.
Apart from the usually short-term jobs created in the construction phase, jobs that do have an immediate impact on the households of those engaged in the projects at that stage nevertheless, there are the long-term results.
The amount of trade going in and out of hitherto unreachable areas of the province has risen markedly. The evidence sticks out on the well-marked brand new roads where trucks and buses ply the routes day and night, alongside overloaded bicycles.
Things can only get better for a province so richly endowed with a bewildering range of natural resources but which, for so long, has consistently ranked among the region with the highest levels of poverty in Zambia.
Soon after the recently held Luapula Expo, it was announced that $1bn worth of investments was headed to the province; much of it going into agricultural enterprises in projects to be located all over the province.
There are sugar, cassava, palm tree plantations coming up, alongside ranching and tourism centred on the province’s breath-taking water falls such as Ntumbachushi and Lumangwe and the scenic water bodies and their beautiful beaches of white sands.
The only reason for being optimistic about these projections is that much of the province that was once deemed un-come-table can now reached via all-weather roads that now connect all the various towns and the villages in between them.
Another five years of these projects taken to all parts of the country should leave a lasting impact on the social and economic development of Zambia.
Even the most cynical of the PF Government have to accept, however grudgingly, that Sela tubombeko is not just clever campaign slogan.