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Secure 80% Funding For New Projects- Chilima

By Tione Andsen

Roads Authority CEO Emamanuel Matapa briefs Vice President Saulos Chilima on the progress of Ntheu Tsangano road construction project on Sunday

Ntcheu, Mana: Government has hinted that new projects need to secure 80 percent of total funding before its commencement if implementation time frames are to be achieved.

Vice President, Dr Saulos Chilima made the observation Sunday when he toured Ntcheu-Tsangano-Mwanza road to appreciate progress being made by contractors, Malawi Defence Force (MDF) Engineers Battalion.

He observed that most projects were missing deadlines due to financial constraints which need to be addressed if the country was to make progress.

Chilima said the Ntcheu-Tsangano-Mwanza road had faced similar challenges and complication of management structure of the project which delayed the progress for almost eight months.

“We will not make progress if our projects continue to receive small portion of funding which has negatively affected the implementation of the road project,” he added.

The Vice President commended MDF Engineers Battalion for committing themselves to ensure that the 21 km stretch would be completed by August, 2021.

Chilima noted that quality of works for the road has been very impressive and there was need to continue encouraging contractors to build roads tom last long.

He said the road project provides an opportunity to improve economic status of the corridor since it connects Mwanza through to Blantyre.

The Vice President said the contractor had to overcome some challenges they were facing citing the use of old equipment but now they have procure new ones which has helped improve progress.

 Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for Roads Authority, Emmanuel Matapa said the project involves the upgrading works from earth to bitumen standard of approximately 140 km of road section from Biriwiri to Mwanza.

He said the project would be executed in a phased approach with fist covering a distance of 21 km from Biriwiri to Kambilonjo.

Mapata said the Ntcheu-Tsangano-Mwanza road would be constructed equaling international corridor standards.

He said once the road is finished truck drivers coming from Mwanza border would use the road as a short cut to Lilongwe unlike using the Zalewa road.

“The road project has delayed for sometimes due low capacity and funding of the project. Progress has been made now and the quality of the roads is very impressive,” Matapa said. 

The CEO said the 140 km road only earth works have covered 21 km with 8 km has been surfaced.  

The road project commenced on April 3, 2018 was scheduled to run for 18 months until September 25, 2019 but completion date was revised to November 30, 2020.

The physical progress is at 55 percent with a contacting sum of K 9.6 billion.

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