COVID-19 restrictions delay Lilongwe Highway Project in Malawi

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COVID-19 restrictions continue to delay the implementation of the Lilongwe Highway Project which involves the turning into a dual carriage way of the M1 road from Lumbadzi past Mchinji roundabout to Bunda roundabout in Malawi.

The Japanese Government through Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica) is expected to carry out the project from Mchinji roundabout to Bunda while the other section from Lumbadzi to Mchinji round-about would be carried out by The People’s Republic of China. However, fielding of missions from Japan has become a problem challenge due to COVID-19 restrictions.

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Lilongwe Highway Project

According to Jica Chief Representative in Malawi, Yoshikazu Wada, the Government of Japan through JICA is proud to be associated with infrastructure development in Malawi. “The Exchange of Note and Grant Agreement have been signed by both the Malawi Government and JICA regarding the 2021 to 2026 project. We are now in the process of identifying a contractor and the procurement process is underway. It is our sincere hope that this infrastructure development will translate into social-economic development in the country,” he said.

The US $28.4m is a grant to Malawi for the project but the government will be expected to carry out some requirements inoder to ensure the Lilongwe Highway Project runs smoothly.

Director of Roads in the Ministry of Transport and Public Works, Kelvin Ngwali Mphonda confirmed the Japanese Government will provide resources for the construction works and the consultant services. “The Malawian Government responsibilities include the clearing of the road corridor for the construction works. Clearing the road corridor involves removing utility services and compensating the people that will be affected by the road expansion. The Government will also be required to provide land for the contractor’s camp site and provide counterpart technical staff,” he added.