Construction works on Nampula-Cuamba highway in Mozambique resume

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Construction works on the Nampula-Cuamba highway in Mozambique have resumed. Works on the 350km highway started back in 2012; the first two stretches, between Nampula and Malema, were concluded in 2014, leaving 111km to be paved. Now construction is under way on the final stretch.

The government is now hopeful that the Nampula-Cuamba highway project will be delivered in contractual time after it had to terminate the initial tender awarded to Gabriel Couto, a Portuguese contractor, due to lack of meaningful progress; and open a new tender to find another company to take over and complete the job.

After accessing the work on the ground recently, the Minister of Public Works, Joao Machatine, was happy with the pace of construction, and now expects the contractual deadline to be met.

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Funding the remaining works

However, according to him, the contractor has to allocate more equipment so that work occurs simultaneously on several fronts. “US $29.2m are available for finishing the job and will be disbursed by the European Union (EU). If there is no shortcoming, the financing agreement will be signed by the end of the year,” he said.

He further added that, in addition to ensuring the normal pace of the work as prescribed in the contract documents, it is the contractor’s duty and responsibility to ensure accessibility along the road, even throughout the rainy season. Therefore, the bridge over Mutivaze river must be given priority, stressed the Minister.

“The government is demanding full compliance with the contract documents and also hopes the following three weeks will be decisive as far as bringing in additional equipment addition is concerned so that from November the pace can be quickened,” said Machatine.