Written by on April 17, 2019

Roads all over the world, Zambia included, make a crucial contribution to economic development as well as bringing about important social benefits.
They are of vital importance in order to make a nation grow and develop.
They provide access to employment, social, health and education services because a good road network is also fundamental in fighting poverty.
To the contrary, poorly maintained roads like the reported Mushindamo road in North Western Province, hamper movement, raise vehicle operating costs, increase accident rates and their associated human and property outlays.
They also magnify isolation, poverty, poor health, and illiteracy in rural communities such as the case is in Mushindamo.
The cries by motorists and travellers in Mushindamo over the deplorable state of the busy road leading to Mushindamo Girls Technical Secondary School and Kipushi border in North-Western Province since 2008 need support.
It is easier to feel sorry for a Mushindamo motorist who did not want to be named but says he has been using the same since 2016 and it has been nightmare for him.
He says despite promises by concerned local authorities to grade the road, nothing of the sort has happened for many years
“We are tired of complaining about the terrible state of this road. We have been told in the past years that when the rainy season is over, the road will be worked on but all has been in vain,” he says
He has rightly pointed out that due to this lethargy, the road is not contributing to the development of Zambia because businesses are being affected. He thinks that it is only a matter of time before parents and other road users entirely stopped taking their children to that school.
A Tanzanian truck driver, who frequently uses this road, also says being the only route for importing and exporting goods, there is every urgent need to work on the road.
“The road makes mobility very difficult in that when a fellow driver has a break down the rest of us going in the same direction will be affected. I have spent many nights on this road due to a breakdown of another truck and it is not safe,” he says.
But Mushindamo district administration officer Oscar Mugala has, assured that road works of the border road upgrading to bituminous standard will begin from the Solwezi Check point through Kainamfumu Farm block out at Kalindi Check point up to Kipushi border after the current rainy season is over.
He says motorists and travellers should not confuse routine road maintenance and road works, as government has now given assurance for the road upgrading.
Needless to emphasize that roads are the arteries through which the economy pulses.
By linking producers to markets, workers to jobs, students to schools, and the sick to hospitals, roads are critical to any development agenda.
We think policy makers in this aspect can affect both the supply and demand for transport, which, in turn, lead to changes in the costs of transport services, accessibility and the extent of industrial or commercial activities.
These changes stimulate economic responses in terms of trade, location choices or transport use and thus shape the ultimate development outcomes that policy makers seek.
This Mushindamo road which also links Zambia to DR Congo is obviously a potential economic booster which should be given the attention it deserves.
And this is true for the entire nation because without a good road network very can be achieved in terms of growing the economy.
There is no doubt that public transportation which depends on a good road network helps move the economy for the benefit of all Zambians.

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