Shang’ombo motorists bemoan poor state of the road
By Staff Reporter
Motorists in Shangombo district in Western Province have complained about the poor state of the Sioma -Shangombo Road claiming it makes movement difficult for them.
Chilele chiwisa told News Day Zambia.com that the road is unbearable, particularly during the rainy season.
“This road has pot holes, mud and vehicles get stuck,” he said. “There is bridge which is not safe especially for drivers using the road for the first time,” he said.
Chiwisa lamented that accidents have been recorded on the same road.
And Siyunda Mukubesa said that it would make a difference if government graded the road since it has failed to rehabilitate it to bituminous standard.
“If this road was to be rehabilitated it would easy traveling, we are forced to divert in the bush to avoid the mud but we as well get stuck as the alternative is sandy,” Mukubesa said.
“The tear and wear is costing us and we have opted to charge between K300 and 350 per individual,” he said.
“It is shameful that 55 years of independence roads in parts of the country have not improved,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mukelabai Kalaluka said that lack of a filing station in the area has also affected their business.
“We are forced to buy the commodity from black market at a high price,” he said.
And Shangombo district commissioner captain Lawrence Nyambe said the road had been placed on the link Zambia 8000 to be upgraded to bituminous standard this year.
And some teachers have called on government to rehabilitate the Shangombo road.
The teachers whose identity has been withheld told NewsDayZambia.com that they pay exorbitant prices when traveling due to the poor road.
“We pay k350 from Shangombo to Senanga when we travel to get our salaries, there is no bank in this area,” they said.
The teachers also complained that accommodation is limited in Shangombo.
“Some schools have mud and pole houses and the standard houses have cracking walls which is very dangerous,” they lamented.
The teachers added that the school use pit latrine toilets.
And Bisesa Chilunda a resident of Shangombo lamented that sanitation at Shangombo primary school was poor.
“The toilets the school has are not in good condition and it is not healthy for the young ones,” Chilunda said.
He stated that water was another challenge that affects most schools in Shangombo district.
“Some residents share water with animals, some draw from shallow wells and its dangerous for those who draw from Kwandu river as it harbours hippos and crocodiles,” he said.
Chilunda added that learning was affected as teachers spend most of their time in Senanga for their salaries.
“Civil servants and other community members had requested for a bank facility, data was collected from various departments but to date there is no bank,” he said.
Chilunda noted that having a bank facility would reduce on civil servants spending time away from work.
Another resident Sibeso Kayawe complained that Shang’ombo had one secondary school with no boarding facility.
“Our children find challenges as there is no boarding facility at this school, and in terms of science subjects there is no laboratory,” she said.
Kayawe also disclosed that pupils who qualify to grade 10 end up renting houses in Shang’ombo and this had attracted early marriages for the girl child.
Meanwhile, Shangombo District Education Board Secretary Ndopu Mukata acknowledged that the education sector in Shangombo district faced a number of challenges.
“We have high rate of pregnancies among school girls, cases of early marriages and school drop outs,” Mukata said.
“We have 28 primary schools which are gazetted and 43 community schools, there is some imbalance in terms of provision of education, as we have more community schools, it’s so challenging,” he said.
Mukata was also quick to mention that government was trying to improve the situation.
“We are undertaking some projects to increase classrooms and accommodation for staff houses with our partners, the council,”Mukata said.
He also disclosed that the standard provision of a five kilometer between a school does not apply in Shangombo.
“We have schools whose distance is about 30-40 kilomtres, it is difficult for children to access,” Mukata said. “Those who qualify to high school level are forced to relocate to other districts like Sioma and Senanga to seek for boarding facilities”.
Mukata also disclosed that labour migration was another challenge faced by school boys in the area.
“School boys go to Namibia to seek employment and they find low paid jobs like cattle herding, Namibia finds cheap labour from Shang’ombo and this is affecting young people,” he said.
Mukata has also stated that retention level in Shangombo is very low.
“People come here to gain entry into employment but the moment they are here they would seek to pull out by coming up with all sorts reasons, as a result teacher pupil ratio is low,” he said.
He stated that the district has no teachers’ resource centre.
“As an office we do not have a teachers’ resource centre, our office is incomplete and we have only five trained early childhood teachers with ten early childhood centers.