Vice-President Saulos Chilima has assured that government will identify funding for the completion of the second phase of the Jenda-Edingeni Road which has missed two deadlines due to lack of funding.
He said this on Monday when he toured the road and M’Mbelwa District Council office complex.
The second phase involves upgrading a 15-kilometre (km) stretch from Chindoka to Embangweni and construction of an 80-metre-long Lwasozi Bridge and several drainage structures.
According to a project document from Roads Authority, the road constructed by China Railway No. 5 Engineering Company Limited, at a projected K6.7 billion, was expected to be completed in March 2020.
The project also missed a second deadline of February 2021.
Reads the document in part: “Total certified amount to date is K4.609 billion, but amount paid to the contractor is K3.462 billion and the outstanding amount to be paid to the contractor is K1.147 billion. Contractor had suspended road works, and slowed down on the bridgeworks due to delayed payments from July 2019 to June 2020.”
But Chilima, speaking after touring the road and the office complex, said: “Government is committed to a long term local currency mode, which could be used to fund some key projects and this Jenda-Edingeni Road is one of them.
“On the office complex, we will engage colleagues in Treasury and on supervision we have spoken to colleagues in the Department of Construction so that the project should speed up.”