Sunday, April 22, 2012

Farmers justify vandalising Mongu-Kalabo road

Farmers justify vandalising Mongu-Kalabo road
By Nyambe Muyumbana in Mongu
Sun 22 Apr. 2012, 13:26 CAT

THE Mongu-Kalabo road currently under construction is under serious vandalism by people living in the Barotse plains. And Avic International Holding Cooperation, a company working on the road, has demanded that the villages that are staying on the road be removed immediately.

A meeting held at Western Province minister John Kufuna's office on Wednesday heard that the villagers have built kraals and houses on the road in fear of floods and allowing their cattle to graze on the grass planted by the contractor on the embankments meant to prevent soil erosion.

One of the farmers Muyongo Muyongo of Siwito village however justified their stay on the road, saying that a new road design had small culverts and was not allowing more water to pass hence flooding their land.

Muyongo explained that from the time the road was under construction, they have been experiencing high floods that they have never seen before because water was not flowing properly as it was blocked by the road.

Muyongo further accused the contractor of destroying highlands in the Barotse plains where their kraals were supposed to be built since it dug its soil for construction from the high lands.

Another farmer, Kaposhi Nyambe from Neywa area, appealed to the contractor to build big bridges which would allow them pass under with their canoes.

He said the people of the area have resorted to vandalise the road because they did not appreciate it since they were not consulted.

Avic International Holding Cooperation assistant manager Nicholas Li said his company was more concerned with the 13km stretch which was already complete and had grass planted on the embankment which cattle was now grazing.

Li said all the activities being carried out by the farmers on the road would have a negative effect on the lifespan of the road.

He said the villagers should be moved immediately.

Li also agreed to sponsor radio programmes to sensitise the villagers on the need to stop vandalising the road.

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