Road construction halted due to flooding in Kabbe South

15 Mar 2016 18:20pm
KATIMA MULILO, 15 MAR (NAMPA) - The Nexus Group has installed level stations to monitor the movement of floodwater along the Namalubi-Isize-Luhonono road situated in the Kabbe South Constituency floodplains of the Zambezi Region.
The construction company will start collecting the readings from the station next week, after which it will determine whether to completely suspend work on that part of the road between the Malindi and Luhonono villages until the flooding subsides.
The company started upgrading the gravel road to tar standard in 2015 but last week halted construction on part of the 57-kilometre-long road after the rising water cut through the gravel, and flooded some of the culverts that are unable to handle the flowing pressure.
On Monday, a Roads Authority (RA) delegation and Nexus group officials and engineers paid a courtesy call on Zambezi Governor Lawrence Sampofu to explain the effect and progress of roadwork during this flooding period.
No flooding occurred during 2015 due to poor rainfall.
RA Chief Executive Officer Conrad Lutombi said flooding is experienced more towards the Luhonono villages, where earthworks were being done.
He told Nampa on Monday operations will now change to not completely stop construction, but to continue working on parts of the road not affected by water, such as between the Namalubi and Isize villages.
“Our sole purpose of the visit was to brief the regional leadership on the progress of road construction in the region. It was also to share the future plans, amid challenges we are experiencing on the Kalimbeza road, as this is the first time we are hit by flooding since construction started. We wanted to brief the governor all of this and actions we will take,” Lutombi said.
He added that the RA and Nexus Group will use this time to determine whether the water drainage designs were accurate, and when found that the flood water tops the culvert designs, there will be need to expand the same designs or add more culverts on the road.
“For now, we are happy that the drainage we have is able to withhold, but we still need to monitor the situation as it moves so we are not caught unaware.”
Lutombi noted complaints of the residents living along the road that the company is providing poor workmanship, saying the RA sourcing services of an expert in drainage system structures addressed their concerns.
“This expert has since visited the area and assessed the work being done. Once he is done with his report he will give us feedback, together with tests that are being conducted on the road to show us the measurement and speed of the water.”
Lutombi said construction is earmarked to be completed within 30 months, so Nexus will not be punished if they miss the deadline by a month or two, because flooding was foreseen to be a delay during the upgrading phases.
“When we entered into an agreement, we made provision for such factors so that they do not affect the work on the road. This is why this construction will go on until end of 2018. But of course, we are sticking to the fact that if a constructor is not finishing on time, there are consequences for that, however, Nexus is still on time.”