K1.6bil needed yearly to bring roads to standard

National

WORKS Minister Michael Nali says his department needs up to K1.6 billion every year to upgrade roads to acceptable standards throughout the country.
Nali said maintaining roads to be accessible for the public to enhance the smooth flow of goods and services was the most important priority of the Works Department and ministry.
“This is always the first issue that we must deal with on a daily basis but we need money to keep our roads up to an acceptable standard.
“We can’t say we can fix all the roads up to standard but at least up to an acceptable standard where people can have access to markets and other basic goods and services and to do that we need close to K1.6 billion a year.”
Nali said almost 50 per cent of all road networks in the country were in very good condition and the rest needed improving.
“So we need that kind of money, but unfortunately, the Department of Works does not get that kind of money.
“I think the minimum that we are picking up is below K300 million which is not enough to keep the roads up to standard.
“But with the current difficulties that we have with cash flow, what we have been doing is focusing more on maintenance on some of the priority roads.
“All the roads are important but we are focusing on priority roads based on their importance to the growth of the country’s economy with the limited resources that we have.”
He said the Works Department was looking at revitalising the provincial works divisions and empowering provincial and district governments to maintain and upgrade provincial and district roads in partnership with the department.

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