The construction of the Ntcheu-Tsangano road in Malawi is on track despite missing its completion deadline for the first phase. The first phase of the road construction was expected to be complete in April but failed due to bad weather and logistic challenges.
The Minister of Transport and Public Works, Ralph Jooma expressed satisfaction with the progress of construction works so far. Mr. Jooma who spoke after inspecting the project commended MDF Engineering department for working tirelessly to make sure the works are ongoing smoothly.
Significance of the project
The minister further added that the road is significant in the development of the country saying that it will help ease traffic and transport challenges faced by the residents of the district. He noted that farmers have been traveling long distances to sell their agricultural produce from Tsangano to Ntcheu and other parts of the country.
“The farmers of Ntcheu who are currently facing challenges transporting their farm produce will for sure benefit from the construction of this road and also it will help boost the economy of our country,” said the Minister.
Major challenges experienced by the contractor
According to the project Consultant Engineer Henderson Fukiza of Henderson and Partners, the main challenges they experienced include: a shortage of equipment, heavy rains, and poor surveying which contributed to the delay of the project; adding that they were forced to re-survey and also stopped working when heavy rains hit the district.
Nevertheless, Mr. Fukiza added that major challenges have been resolved and the project will be 70-75% complete by the end of October 2019 and 100% by next year.
On his side Chief Executive Officer for Roads Authority, Mr. Emmanuel Matapa said that they hope to see good progress now that major problems have been fixed.
The first phase of the project covers 21 kilometers from Tsangano turn-off to Kambilonjo trading center and it’s being financed by the government of Malawi at a tune of US $12.8m. The road will shorten the distance to the nearby country of Mozambique through Mwanza border once completed.