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Friday, 21 September 2007

Quote of the week (Edgar Sing'ombe)

We have government workers at Nkandanzovu health centre and the basic school. These get their salaries from Kalomo but are forced to spend so much money on travel as they have to go to Choma first before connecting to Kalomo. Worse still, farmers also have to get their money for their produce sold to FRA from banks in Kalomo…. The Chizuni bridge [linking the constituency to the nearest health facility at Macha Mission Hospital in Choma] was completed two months ago but has developed serious cracks that pose grave danger to traffic….The only way government can motivate the people in the constituency to continue recording bumper maize harvests is by giving them good roads to market their produce. We are worried because the rainy season is drawing nearer and the road network has remained in a poor state.
- Edgar Sing'ombe (The Post 20/09/2007)
Dundumwezi MP Edgar Sing’ombe forcefully demonstrating the importance of transport infrastructure to human development. Without adequate transport infrastructure we can forget about education, health and empowerment (agriculture) - the three of the four crucial areas of human development. Delivering significant transport infrastructure is not cheap. This is why I have argued that need to find creative ways in which new investment in the country can be tied to broader local investment in the transport sector. The model that is needed is similar to the framework that the UK has adopted under Section 106 of the Town and Planning Country Act (1995). This UK legislation basically makes it a condition that any new investment in any local area of the UK should be conditional on providing some minimum level of investment in schools, transport and other things, if the local authority deems necessary. Other nation’s have similar approaches. Unfortunately Zambia has no such legal basis, and where local authorities have tried to take the initiative, they have met obstacles with Solwezi being the latest.

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