Speaking at the official opening of a 30million Kwacha UKaid funded weighbridge in Kafue today, British High Commissioner to Zambia Fergus Cochrane-Dyet said:
The UK’s new support for the weighbridge will make it easier, safer and quicker to move goods from the point of production to border crossings. Infrastructure development is vitally important for a “land-linked” country like Zambia, helping it to diversify its economy and increase its trade with neighbouring countries. Projects like this one will help to stimulate economic growth and create more jobs for young Zambians”.
The Kafue weighbridge is one element of UK support to boost trade and develop key transport infrastructure in Southern Africa. It includes the upgrading of the final section of the road from Lusaka to Chirundu (Link 4), which is expected to be completed early next year. Link 4 connects with the One Stop Border Post at Chirundu, which was also developed with an earlier grant from the UK and reduced waiting times for freight vehicles at the border from 3-5 days to 24 hours.
The state-of-the-art weighbridge has been made possible with the help of a 30 million kwacha grant from the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID).
The new facility will measure the axle weight of trucks using the Lusaka to Chirundu road, helping to reduce overloading and the damage this causes on one of Zambia and Southern Africa’s most important trading routes. Studies suggest the new weighbridge can reduce overloading from about 20% of trucks to around 5% - producing maintenance savings for the Zambian government of over 80 million kwacha.
The UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) provided a grant of ZMW 30 million to fund a new fixed electronic weighbridge at the junction of the T001 and T002 Highways (Mazabuka-Kafue-Chirundu roads junction) near Kafue town. The facility includes two weighing scales (one for extra-heavy loads), new offices, associated access roads and driveways, site lighting and drainage, water reticulation and areas for parking and detention. Toilet facilities are provided on site for both women and men.
The project will reduce vehicle overloading and prevent the costly damage this causes on one of Southern Africa’s most important trading routes. DFID’s economic appraisal, supported by studies conducted for other weighbridges in the region, suggests the new weighbridge can reduce axle overloads from about 20% of trucks, to around 5%. This would produce maintenance savings of about £7 million over 20 years – equivalent to the cost of routine maintenance for 5,000 km of road.
The Kafue weighbridge is part of UK support to improve trade and transport in Southern Africa, including Zambia. It includes rehabilitation of the final section (Link 4) of the Lusaka-Chirundu road, which is expected to be finished in early 2017. UK also funded Africa’s first One Stop Border Post at Chirundu, which after its opening in 2009 reduced waiting times for freight at the border from 3 – 5 days, to around 24 hours.
As well as helping to boost economic development and trade, UK aid to Zambia provides water and sanitation, food and cash for the poorest and for disabled people, helps the victims of gender-based violence and helps to improve Zambia’s health services.
Since 2011, UKaid to Zambia has enabled: 2.2 million more Zambians to have access to sanitation; 1.9 million pregnant women and children under 5 to be reached by nutrition programmes; 44,000 more children to gain a primary education; 14,000 survivors of gender-based violence to receive support; 289,000 more women and girls to have access to family planning; 239,000 more Zambians to have access to financial services.
For further details contact Alfred Kapalayi on +260 211 423200 or email: Alfred.Kapalayi@fco.gov.uk
British High Commission, Lusaka 14 December 2016