How we changed Western Province
The Mongu Stadium Debacle
By Amb. Emmanuel Mwamba
I see my post on Mongu Stadium raised interest. However, on this day, we managed to persuade President Sata to launch the Shangombo District Hospital and the Nalolo Water Project.
The Mongu Stadium debaclee will requires its own article.
Overall, we helped transform Mongu and Western Province forever.
I personally lobbied for the Mongu township roads whose cost was tripple than any other township project that was being done across the country because of the sandy area and terrain.
An ultra-modern eye clinic was launched during my tenure at Lewanika General Hospital.
The Mongu-Kalabo road, had stalled due to contractual issues and there was persuasion to cancel it. I and Hon. Inonge Wina fought running battles with both Ministry of Finance and State House. Road Development Agency had to undertake a special trip and issue a comprehensive support report to put the $300million project back on tracks.
Mongu-Kalabo road was an engineering marvel and the most expensive road in Southern Africa for a 35km stretch!
Simply because the project was entirely perched on 26 bridges with the longest being 1.1km across the Zambezi river.
There were other projects such as the Sioma Bridge. In 2013 the RDA engaged China Henan International Corporation to construct the Sioma Bridge at K108.2 million, which gave birth to the road, has land-linked Western Province to Namibia, enabling traders from Nkeyema, Kaoma, Luampa and Mongu to easily travel to Namibia through Sesheke to buy goods.
This was part of the $262 million loan from the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) earmarked for the rehabilitation and upgrading of three existing roads across the country. These were Senanga – Sesheke, Kabombo – Chavuma and Kalulushi – Lufwanyama which form part of the Trans-African Highways programme route stretching from Cape Town to the DRC’s Katanga Province and onwards to Kinshasa.
We were constantly supervising these projects.
We revived the Cashew Project! Invited Ministers to visit the areas that had both rice and cashew plantations.
At our cost as a province, we invited cashew expert from Mozambique, who actually were trained in Zambia in the 80s!
The first request for the $50million AfDB funding for project was written with us. We also invited AfDB Country Director, Dr. Freddie Kwesiga(MHSRIEP) to appreciate the cashew project started in 1975. I had previosuly worked with Dr. Kwesiga persuading the AfDB to build a modern harbour at Mpulungu and help with a new ship to replace the SS Liemba launched in 1913!
We had also proposed for modern harbour equipment, cranes, warehousing and cold storage facilities for Mpulungu Harbour.
We worked very well with Rural Roads Unit and ZNS to make feeder roads passable.
The first request for dredgers in 50 years for Western and Luapula Province was pushed by us..in these areas, canalas are the feeder roads!
For the first time we took electricity, a boarding secondary school the border town of Sikongo and a tarmac road was planned to connect Kalabo to Angola after the completion of the Mongu-Kalabo was achieved.
Nine new districts were set up, new District Commissioners were appointed and we began the work to establish to budget and plan for the full establishment of the districts.
We funded new water projects in Mongu, Kaoma, and Sesheke.
All this was done with the cooperation and support of the Barotse Royal Establishment and other traditional authorities.
When we document our stay in Western Province, you will see how we comprehensively shone the development light on the province.