The long awaited and most touted Kamuzu Barrage upgrading work in Machinga, is expected to come to an end and open to the public in March this year, site engineers have confirmed.
The DPP-led government under President Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika, started the upgrading of Kamuzu Barrage in 2014 to increase energy production by the Electricity Generation Company of Malawi (EGENCO) and reduce power outages in the country in turn.
According to the officials from Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development, this project once finalised, will primarily benefit the energy sector. The proposed investments in the Kamuzu barrage upgrade will increase energy production by the downstream hydropower plants. The increase in the average energy production will constitute a main fraction of the total value of the Kamuzu barrage upgrading investments.
The officials also said that among others, the barrage is also expected to improve Shire river’s water flow to satisfy growing water demands for irrigation, fisheries, water supply and control floods.
According to the site engineers, currently the last portion which is a pillar for pedestrians and motorists is about to complete and will ease mobility challenges.
“Once the construction of this path is completed, there will be no accidents amidst the pedestrians who will be walking on the other side” Said one of the engineers at the site.
Meanwhile, economic experts in the country like John Chiwalo have applauded President Mutharika saying, once the barrage is completed in March, it will spur economic activities in the district and the country as a whole.
“This is one of the viable and transformative developments that the President has done because the barrage has lots of benefits to the people of Machinga and the country at large. The control of water at the barrage will also help in the operationalisation of both Blantyre Water Board and Southern Region Water Board. Water supply to its customers will improve,” explained Chiwalo.
According to James Matabwa of Chawe village, who is a bicycle tax operator at Liwonde in Machinga, once the barrage is completed, it will end traffic jam which has been a major set back to their business since the commencement of upgrading works of the barrage in 2014.
“We expect an improved flow of traffic thereby, boosting our business since we will be able to transport passengers from one side to the other very fast and with ease,” Said Matabwa.
President Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika made the promise in 2013 and the promise has been delivered.