A whopping US$ 200m has been approved by the World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors for the upgrade of rural roads in six of Zambia’s ten provinces.
The funds were approved under an International Development Association (IDA) credit under the IDA17 Scale-up Facility and will see Zambia selected roads improving.
Only 17 percent of people leaving in rural areas within 2 km of a good road in Zambia, leaving about 7.5 million rural residents unconnected to the road network in the country; this is according to the Rural Access Index.
The Improved Rural Connectivity Project will benefit approximately 460,000 people in the targeted rural areas.
World Bank Country Manager for Zambia Ina Ruthenberg confirmed the reports and said that the Improved Rural Connectivity Project is significant for Zambia because it will develop connectivity in rural areas where poverty levels are particularly high.
“This is good initiative set to be undertaken in Zambia, it will really improve the connectivity in rural areas where poverty levels are particularly high,” Ruthenberg noted.
World Bank Senior Transport Specialist Justin Runji also pointed out that the project will contribute towards addressing institutional capacity challenges, particularly in the area of road maintenance and road safety in the country where feeder roads are largely in poor condition.
“The project will add up to addressing institutional capacity challenges, mainly in the area of road maintenance and road safety in the country where feeder roads are largely in poor condition,” Mr. Runji said.
The development project supports the Government of Zambia’s development priorities as reflected in the National Development Plan and Vision 2030.
The Zambian Government will finance the rural roads of the remaining four provinces.