By Michael Kaluba
Construction works on the US$499 million Kafulafuta Dam project in Masaiti District on the Copperbelt have stalled after the contractor, China National Engineering Corporation announced suspension of works citing erratic funding from government.
According to a letter dated 5th February 2020, issued to sub-contractors and obtained by Phoenix News, works on the project that are expected to be completed by 31st December 2021, have been halted.
The dam is expected to trigger the Kafulafuta water supply project which is expected to provide water to at least 1 million people in four towns in the province once completed.
Consortium of Local Contractors and Allied Suppliers Secretary General, Bruce Mwamba has also confirmed this to Phoenix News, saying the disruption of the project has affected about 15 local contractors after government failed to pay the main contractor.
Mr. Mwamba added that around 450 workers under the 15 sub-contractors will be affected as a result of the indefinite stoppage of the project.
And Copperbelt Province Minister Japhen Mwakalombe confirmed the development but refuted claims that the project has been stopped due to a lack of funding.
Mr. Mwakalombe has instead attributed the work stoppage to heavy rains saying the wet conditions at the construction site have made it difficult for the contractor to sustain works.