The government of Malawi said it will up-grade roads covering a distance of 1,453 kilometers in the central region with an aim of improving public road networks especially in the rural areas.
Minister of Transport and Public Works, Ralph Jooma, revealed the development during the official launch of the grading program on selected roads in the central region in Kayembe Village Traditional Authority Kayembe in Dowa district.
Jooma said the government will spend over six hundred Million Malawi Kwacha for the central region road grading programme and all contracts have been handed over and contractors are currently on the ground in various districts.
“When we were campaigning we promised people good road networks hence the program,” he said
He said the grading program hopefully will allow the communities to easily access health facilities, markets for agricultural produce and institutions like schools.
In his remarks, Dowa district Commissioner, Alex Mdooko commended the institution of the program saying it is going to benefit more farmers in the district as they will have easy access to markets mainly during the harvest period.
“In the district we have seven constituencies and all of them are going to benefit from the road grading program.
He added: “Dowa is known to be a farming district and people need passable roads throughout the year so that they are able to conduct their farming activities.”
Speaking earlier, Member of Parliament for Dowa West Constituency, Dr. Abel Kayembe said his area needs good road network as it faces more challenges during rainy season.
“In this area when it rains it means we are cutoff from every essential service because the roads become impassable,” he said.
He said there is need for more than grading in some other areas, like Nambuma to Chimwaza, noting that these roads need tarmac simply because Nambuma is a rural growth center which as the policy demands, requires an all weather road.
The program will involve grading of 170 kilometers of roads in Dowa district alone. The grading program is being financed by Roads Fund Administration (RFA) through fuel levy at a total cost of MWK 636,857,212.44 for the whole Central Region.