By Scoop Reporter
INFRASTRUCTURE development is critical to any development process and maintenance is an integral part of that development process, Minister of Works and Supply Sylvia Chalikosa has said.
Speaking when she toured the new renovated Government infrastructure as well as the newly built office block which is housing the Ministry of National Development Planning this morning, Ms. Chalikosa said Maintenance to infrastructure ensures that buildings remain in good condition.
She says this also makes the infrastructure to be conducive to the users thereby maintaining good service delivery.
“A delay in maintenance and repair of infrastructure increases the maintenance costs and shortens service life. I am sure you agree with me that in Zambia, apart from inheriting infrastructure which was built by the colonial regime, we have also over decades invested massively in construction of infrastructure. Unfortunately, there has not been insignificant attention given to maintenance.
“The inadequate, untimely, and uncoordinated maintenance of buildings, roads, rail, aviation and maritime infrastructure among has resulted in such infrastructure not fully functional nor productive, leading to disruption of provision of service,” Ms. Chalikosa said.
She says this is also partly attributed to lack of maintenance culture and low expenditure amongst relevant authorities and has given statistics that between 2014 and 2018, Government spent in excess of K9 billion on construction but that only K319 million on maintenance, which is 3.1 percent of total expenditure.
“This situation will no longer be tolerated nor tenable. Under the leadership of President Edgar Lungu, we have made strides to correct this situation. In this regard among the strides being made are development of an Asset Management Policy which includes maintenance.
“This policy is expected to be tabled soon before Cabinet. We are happy about this project at National Planning as it is a clear demonstration on how maintenance and rehabilitation of infrastructure can give anew leaf of life to a property,” she said.
. Congratulations Honourable Minister, PS and your Staff for this achievement.
- However this should not be the end of it, we need to maintain this achievement by having a clear maintenance plan for the institution where you indicate the different types of maintenance which should be undertaken, among which are routine, periodic and merger maintenance.
- In addition Ministry of National Planning has a role to play in overall development of this country which includes the appreciation and development of maintenance in the country as a whole. Among the expectation from your Ministry are:
(i) Mainstreaming infrastructure maintenance in national development planning process;
(ii) Providing guidelines for general monitoring and evaluation of maintenance of public infrastructure;
(iii) Providing support in the establishment of management information systems for maintenance of public infrastructure;
(iv) Providing a coordinated support in mainstreaming climatic change in infrastructure maintenance in MPSAs; and
(v) Collaborate on public investment appraisals to help inform maintenance of infrastructure.
- Thank you Honourable Minister I know together we shall make it.