Slow road rehab posing health risk

The slow pace at which some road rehabilitation projects are being done is posing a serious health risk to communities, the Alliance for Better Zambia (ABZ) president Frank Bwalya has said.

“In many cases, roads are graded and left for a long time without watering to reduce dust.

As such, people are suffering from coughing and respiratory complications. The dust is also proving to be a great inconvenience to residents around the projects as motorists speed on such roads raising clouds of dust that pose unnecessary environmental problems,” he said.

He said it was sad that in many cases, the projects stalled for a long time with no sign of works resuming.

Fr. Bwalya said there was no doubt the people appreciated the rehabilitation of roads especially those within their communities.He however said the benefits of the roads should not be a justification to expose the Zambians to unnecessary health risks and all kinds of inconvenience, especially in cases where roads were blocked for prolonged periods.Fr Bwalya urged the PF government to improve the management of such projects and that it should avoid commencing projects before securing money for the whole project.He advised the Road Development Agency (RDA) to ensure timely disbursement of funds to avoid stalling of such projects and that the Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA) should strictly ensure that relevant environmental laws and practices are followed by contractors undertaking road rehabilitation projects.Fr Bwalya said ZEMA should be proactive and protect people from environmental risks that came with road construction and rehabilitation works.