Management of risks in the implementation of publicly funded road construction projects in Zambia

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Mumba, Kanyuka
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The Government of the Republic of Zambia (GRZ) has over the last decade made considerable effort in improving road infrastructure in the country. However, the implementation of many road projects has not been as successful as expected. One of the major factors is poor risk management on the projects. Evidence suggests that in many road contracts in the country, risk is by and large ignored, dealt with in an arbitrary way or with complacency, causing a significant number of road construction projects to take longer or cost more than planned, or even fail. On the whole, the construction industry worldwide has a poor reputation for dealing with risk. The main aim of the study was to develop a risk management model for application on public funded road projects in Zambia. The specific objectives of the research were to analyse selected projects to determine project risks and the extent to which risk analysis and management were applied. Various data collection techniques were utilised in the research, notably, questionnaire surveys, structured interviews, case studies and document reviews.The model was developed and validated through stakeholder inputs, and is thus recommended for use on Zambian road projects. The research further analysed the effect of lack of effective risk management on implementation and overall management of projects. Subsequently, a risk inventory (RI) was developed. Results showed that structured risk management on many projects in Zambia was lacking. The five (5) main risks identified in the study were: funding risks; natural hazards; inadequate designs for works; political interference risks; and shortage of materials.Structured risk management is highly recommended as an integral part of any road project in Zambia. This will facilitate monitoring and control of major risks on the projects, with the ultimate benefit of increased project success. The information brought out in this study may prove invaluable to Government, its cooperating partners, contractors, consultants and all other stakeholders in the road sector
Project Risk , Risk Inventory , Risk Management Model , Public Funded projects