Zambia

Zambia: Flood rehabilitation to begin

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PRESIDENT Mwanawasa has said that Government will soon start rehabilitating infrastructure destroyed by floods throughout the country.

The President said that the rehabilitation would start at the end of the rainy season that has left a trail of destruction on houses, schools, bridges, roads, crops and animals.

"Floods have caused untold suffering among our people throughout the country.

Your government is extremely concerned and in this connection we have been sending relief food to all parts of Zambia.

Government has been planning to rehabilitate all that has been damaged by floods.

After the rainy season all bridges and schools that have been lost will be rehabilitated," he said.

Mr Mwanawasa said in Mongu yesterday at the Kuomboka Ceremony of the Lozi people, that it was Government's intention to rebuild bridges and schools in both rural and urban areas where rains had caused devastating damage.

The President was speaking at the Litunga's palace soon after his Royal Highness arrived from Lealui aboard the royal Nalikwanda.

The president also said Government would build clinics in six districts in Western Province in his administration's continued efforts to provide quality healthcare to all Zambians.

He said, out of that, five clinics would be built in Lukulu, Senanga, Kalabo and Shangombo districts.

President Mwanawasa also hailed the people of Western Province for the overwhelming support they gave the ruling MMD during the 2006 tripartite elections.

He also reiterated the need for Zambians to use traditional ceremonies as a unifying factor over political differences.

Earlier, President Mwanawasa accompanied the Litunga on the Nalikwanda, on the first leg of the 13 km journey from the "wet" palace, Lealui, to Limulunga.

The President travelled to Lealui by helicopter and was upon arrival ushered into the Litunga's palace where the two leaders held talks for about two hours.

The Litunga, accompanied by Mr Mwanawasa, then emerged from the palace amid drumming and Lozi traditional songs as the two strolled to the harbour to board the Nalikwanda.

By 11:00 hours the long journey across the great Baroste plains began as the Nalikwanda paddled by dozens of men dressed in traditional regalia paddled the 30-metre-long canoe across the plains to Limulunga, the Litunga's dry land palace.

President Mwanawasa disembarked from the Nalikwanda at Namutikitili Island several kilometres from Lealui.

Here the President boarded his presidential helicopter and headed for Mongu where he had a private lunch before he left for Limulunga after 15:00 hours in readiness to meet the Litunga when the Nalikwanda docked at Nayuma Harbour .

Government officials, diplomats, ruling and opposition political members, tourists and Zambians from all walks of life attended the colourful ceremony.