ECZ condemns design of Mongu-Kalabo road
Post of Zambia 29-09-2004
By Nomusa Maunga in Siavonga
ENVIRONMENTAL Council of Zambia (ECZ) director Edward Zulu has said the current design of the Mongu-Kalabo road will continue to be a liability to the people of Western Province.
And Zulu said the problems being faced in the construction of thr road could have been avoided if there was wider consultation.
In an interview, Zulu said Ministry of Works and Supply failed to comply with the Environmental Act in constructing the Mongu-Kalabo road.
"They have failed to comply to the Environmental Act and in so doing the project was not done in the interest of the people," he said.
"We had advised that where the road was being carried out was a plain. And just by looking at it, we could see that it could not withstand the floods once they were through. Look at what has happened."
He said the ECZ was still concerned with the slow pace of the ministry's response to the request for an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA).
"Our worry is still continuing, so we wrote to them again in June to do an impact assessment and to date they have not complied," Zulu said.
"As of now, the current design will become a liability to the people there because it actually dividing the plain into two."
Zulu said the culverts that were designed for the road were too small for canoes or boats to pass through and would actually hinder movement.
"The people in Western Province normally will use canoes to move, it means they won't use the culvert to move. It means even the Litunga will be affected because the route which is used will be blocked by the embankment," he explained.
He said the designers of the road should have taken these parameters into account.
"We would want the ministry to do a full EIA. For them to have constructed the road without an EIA, that was illegal. It's the same as ignoring tender procedures," he said.
He said as ECZ was concerned no one was above the law and the ministry would have to comply with the dictates of the Environmental Act.