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Govt suspends drainage works at multimillion-dollar Ndola Airport

A STRETCH of a kilometre of drainage at the Copperbelt International Airport has been washed away by heavy rains.

And the government has told AVIC International, the main contractor at the multimillion dollar Copperbelt Airport, to suspend works on the drainage system.

AVIC international has since been instructed to redo the works on the drainage.

Infrastructure ministry permanent secretary Charles Mushota said it was unfortunate to experience such a failure when there was adequate manpower.

Mushota toured the airport site with Copperbelt permanent secretary Bright Nundwe.

He asked AVIC to take every portion of the project seriously.

“We are here for a fact finding mission over a wash away of the drainage after a heavy downpour. It has been revealed that there are some failures confined to the drainage structures, but we will work closely with the contractor to correct the failures which are as a result of two factors being workmanship and design details,” Mushota said.

He assured the general public that works would be taken very serious and would ensure as a ministry that a solid structure that stood a test of time would be constructed.

“Let me request AVIC to take seriously every portion of the project. Every aspect is very important no matter how small because small things may affect the airport. For now, we are requesting that works are suspended to look at the design and ensure there are proper specifications,” Mushota said.

He expressed happiness with the subcontractors because none of the failure was attributed.

However, Mushota expressed concern with the low rates being given to subcontractors by AVIC.

“The rates given to subcontractors are of concern. There is need to have rates reviewed for a win-win situation,” said Mushota.

And Nundwe said the project was a very significant one hence the need to handle it seriously.

“Over one kilometre of the drainage was swept away and it wasn’t done by the local contractors, but by AVIC. Let me state that this project is very significant,” he said.

Nundwe said the government was not doubting the works by AVIC, but there was need to put in quality work.

AVIC senior consultant Lei Yingqi apologised for the fault and assured that the drainage would be redone.

“We will redesign the drainage system together with the engineers. We will work together. We will make use of the failure to gain experience from it,” said Lei.

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