Govt to Capacitate Road Testing Central Materials Laboratory

The Ministry of Transport says it is using K300 million to capacitate the Central Materials Lab to be able to test the country’s roads and examining consultants amid growing concerns of poor standards.

Spokesperson for the Ministry of Transport and Public Works Maganizo Liwewe has told Zodiak on Wednesday that the lab which has been there was unable to test the roads under construction and examine consultants due to lack of capacity.

Now Likwewe says the funds have been set aside in the current budget where K100 million will procure the consultant while the rest including others from project donors are for the state of the art equipment.

"In the meantime, government has set aside some resources in the current budget to purchase the equipment that the unit will be using," he said.

Meanwhile, Road Safety Alert Foundation (ROSAF) executive director Joel Jere, has welcomed the development, urging professionals that are working there not to compromise with standards.

Jere says the tendency has cost the country billions of Kwacha in repairing the roads which get damaged even before their lifespan.

"We don't want to be losing money, today you construct this road, tomorrow is a pothole. It becomes a death trap. So we are also saying apart from resuscitating this testing centre, the people who are working in that particular lab they should be able to do exactly what the machine is indicating.

"This is because sometimes you find a person cheating the machine, engaging in corruption," he implored.

There has been an outcry over poor standards of most of the roads in the country where many got damaged and developed potholes while under construction.

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