The Kazangula Bridge saga rumbles on. Here’s the latest from the Zambia Daily Mail.
Kazungula is the border crossing (above) between Zambia, Botswana and Zambia and is situated 75 kms from Livingstone.
THE design review of the US$259 million Kazungula Bridge will commence in February next year, the Road Development Agency (RDA) has said. RDA Kazungula Bridge Zambia project engineer Lazaros Nyawali said the 923-metre long bridge has a complex design and that it is important to ensure that a workable one is put in place. Mr Nyawali said this in Livingstone on Tuesday after RDA officials inspected rehabilitated roads in the tourist capital. (Which cannot have taken them very long! ed)
He said a consultant to review the design has already been identified and that the process will take six months after which the tendering process for the contractor to build the bridge will start. And Mr Nyawali said compensation and resettlement mechanisms for people who will be affected by the construction of the bridge are being taken care of. He said most people who bought land in the surrounding area where the bridge will be built have already been compensated and that 38 families in Lumbo village will be relocated.
“Prior to construction of the bridge, there are environmental issues which should be looked into. There is need to resettle and compensate people. This exercise should be completed before works on the bridge start,” he said. Mr Nyawali said the Kazungula Bridge is of strategic economic importance as it will facilitate the integration of the Southern African Development Community (SADC). He said the bridge will also enhance transport operations along the North South corridor which links mineral rich regions of Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo to Botswana, Zimbabwe and South Africa.
The Kazungula Bridge project is a joint project involving the governments of Zambia and Botswana which have sourced financing from the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the Japanese International Corporation Agency (JICA).
JICA is financing 57 percent of the project while AfDB is contributing 31.5 percent. The European Union has provided a 1.8 percent grant to the two governments which are funding the rest of the project.