Zambia: Luano lags behind in infrastructure
For many people, the mention of the Luano neighborhood conjures up sad memories of the murderous Mailoni brothers who terrorized the area and have been linked to a number of murders.
The fugitive trio were eventually shot down by Zambian army commandos.
However, Luano overcame this debacle and was declared a district in 2013.
But 13 years later, there is no benefit that has occurred in the region due to its status as a district.
All the projects that started after his declaration as a district have stalled.
These include the construction of the district administration office building which is said to have cost KK 6.8 million; Mkushi South Boarding School and Teachers’ Houses, among others.
Some of the crossing points, like the Mkushi South Bridge, are a death trap, while the roads are dilapidated.
Agents working in Mkushi are divided, some operate and live in Luano Boma while others have taken refuge in Masansa.
Recently, the Permanent Secretary of the Central Province, Milner Mwanakampwe, paid a familiarization visit to Luano where he was met by the District Administrative Officer, Jessy Mulenga.
Ms. Mulenga informed Mr. Mwanakampwe that none of the projects launched in 2015 had been completed.
She said that although the Rural Electrification Authority (REA) did part of the electrification, the district was still waiting for Zesco to connect it to the national electricity grid.
Ms. Mulenga said the roads, such as the Luano-Masansa road, are in poor condition.
She called on the government to consider leveling the road.
Ms. Mulenga said that initially officers operated in makeshift tents before cooperating partners helped them build a structure they now use as an office.
A check on the construction of the district administrative block revealed that only 11 percent of the project was completed.
Luano District Supervisor – Department of Infrastructure Jeff Mulenga said that the first contractor in the district administrative block was paid K 1.2 million in 2016, but he failed, which led to the hiring from another entrepreneur who also received K 1.2 million in 2017.
As if that weren’t enough, the Mkushi South boarding school, which was launched in 2010, with 10 teachers’ houses, has come to a standstill.
Eleven years later, the boarding school is still far from being completed as the entrepreneur has never ceased to mobilize and demobilize.
Luano District Education Council (DEBS) secretary for Luano Kelly Kapanga is concerned about the situation.
He said the contractor had completed projects in other districts, but work at Mkushi South boarding school continued to stall.
Mr. Kapanga said that the district does not have adequate boarding schools and that the district administration looks forward to the completion of adequate boarding schools to meet the needs of the district’s learner population and tackle the problem. practice of schoolchildren subject to a weekly boarding school. provisions.
He said it is important for the entrepreneur to reconsider finishing the school as he already had an establishment that included teachers and department heads who were already working in other schools.
Department of Infrastructure’s Luano district supervisor Jeff Mulenga said the contractor had subcontracted.
Mr Mulenga said there were two subcontractors in addition to the main contractor.
Mr. Mwanakampwe was saddened by the situation in the district.
He said it was unacceptable that the school, whose construction began in 2010, was still far from complete.
The permanent secretary of the central province said the government has made it clear that a contractor who abandons a contract should never be awarded another contract.
He called on the school project contractor to urgently urge the government to find a way forward, as the continued abandonment of school work will negatively impact government policy of providing free education if children continue to be subjected to long distances on foot.
Mr. Mwanakampwe said that if the school project could not be completed in its entirety, it would be better if it was partially completed and opened.
“This school will be able to accommodate children from the Kanyeshya, Mboroma and Chikupili chiefdoms. The administration of New Dawn emphasizes quality education. Free education will be avoided if children continue to walk long distances, ”he said.
Mr Mwanakampwe also said it was unacceptable for contractors who have already been paid 20 percent upfront to end up abandoning the work.
The permanent secretary met earlier with teachers from the civic center, whom he congratulated on their work under difficult conditions.
He said the teachers’ commitment to continue working in the district showed their humility and heart to save the country.
He said that usually the teachers’ houses would have been completed.
He assured the teachers that the New Dawn administration would hire contractors and make sure that something of the projects, like hosting, was done.
Mr. Mwanakampwe also met with teachers from Twikatane Primary School in Luano District, where he congratulated them for their unwavering commitment and humility in serving in the district civil service.
He said Luano was far from achieving district status, although the region declared a district in 2013.
Mr. Mwanakampwe noted that the district’s infrastructure was at a standstill, including the teachers’ houses which were said to have been completed long ago.
But the permanent secretary assured officials that he would hire contractors who abandoned the various projects.
Mr Kapango said Luano suffers from a severe teacher shortage mainly due to its remoteness, as most of the teachers have sought to be transferred from the area.
He said the district has 1,600 teachers, 150 of whom are on the payroll although they serve in other districts such as Kabwe, Kapiri and Mkushi.
From his visit to Luano district, the permanent secretary of the central province went to Serenje district where he was not impressed by illegal mining activities in the agricultural block of Nansanga.
Mr. Mwanakampwe also called for an immediate end to illegal mining at Muchinda Boarding Secondary where the educational establishment is literally taken over by illegal miners.
Serenje District Education Council secretary Harry Silungwe said the school is located above manganese deposits.
He called on the government to protect the school from further encroachment.
The permanent secretary has since called for coordination between the mining ministry and local councils before mining licenses are issued.
Mr. Mwanakampwe also paid courtesy visits to Chief Chibale of Serenje District, who is also the Provincial Chairman of the Council of Chiefs of Central Province; as well as Chief Chitambo of the district of Chitambo.-ZANIS.