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By JOHN SAKALA
The Small Scale Miners Association of Zambia Executive Director Kunda Chani says the lifespan of the roads constructed now is reduced because the load on the roads has increased.
Speaking with The Independent Observer in an interview, Mr Chani said the lifespan of the roads has been stressed by mining activities in the region.
Mr Chani said the shipping of mining equipment has stressed the roads because the rail transport isn’t used as alternative for abnormal load.
He said the roads constructed in the days of Phoenix Contractors of South Africa lasted because the load on the roads was lighter and very few Zambians had cars by then.
He said like in Chingola about 30 years ago only a single car would park in town but currently there is no parking space around central district business (CBD).
“The stretch of 56 kilometres between Chingola and Kitwe would take 35 to 40 minutes on DCM buses which aren’t better than Rosa buses. But today it takes about an hour of the same stretch to negotiate through forest of traffic on the road.
“In short the population of cars has grown bringing in more of tear and wear on the roads. Making it more laden, the mining activities which need more equipment shipped on the roads has further stressed our roads,” he said.
Mr Chani said Phoenix Contractors was making quality roads but what made their roads to last was less stress on the same roads.
He said roads constructed now are exposed to more load stress.
He gave an example of some roads being done where the constructor begins by forking out the old structure of the road to a good depth then add sub-base, both of Laterite then concrete base before finishing with bituminous.
Mr Chani has implored Zambians to criticise government with objectivity and right information to avoid self-embarrassment and allusions.