An assessment of the factors affecting the selection of township roads that require rehabilitation and upgrade in selected districts of the Copperbelt province of Zambia.

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Kasongo, M. Mike
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The University of Zambia
In Zambia, local authorities together with other agencies such as Road Development Agency (RDA) had been given a mandate to ensure proper rehabilitation and upgrade of roads in all Provinces of Zambia. This function was granted taking into account the fact that transportation industry, like many other infrastructure-intensive economic activities, is a significant component of the economy's impact on development and population welfare. In this regard, the aim of this study was to assess the factors affecting the selection of township roads in selected districts of the Copperbelt Province of Zambia. The study used a mixed method research design which included the combination of both quantitative and qualitative research methods. In this study, the target population comprised of RDA employees, consultants within Copperbelt province, and employees at Ndola City Council, Kitwe City Council, and Luanshya Municipal Council. Stratified random sampling was employed to select study participants from engineering department in the three council, while purposive sampling was used to select respondents from a group of consultants and employees from RDA. On the other hand, the study used survey questionnaire to collect quantitative data while in-depth interview was utilised to collect qualitative data. Moreover, quantitative data was analysed using SPSS while qualitative data was analysed using thematic analysis. The findings revealed that political interference, positional influence, and roads leading to social amenities all affected the selection of township roads for rehabilitation and upgrade. In contrast, the study also found that present condition of the road, social and economic benefits influenced the number of kilometres allocated to the selected roads. Further, the study revealed that councils used physical verification and consultant engagement to monitor implementation and completion of allocated kilometres of roads required for rehabilitation and upgrade. In view of these findings, the study recommended the use of Geography Information System (GIS) framework in the selection and allocation of kilometres to the township roads to ensure coordination and reduction in physical verification or monitoring.