Chakwera unveils plans to develop transport infrastructure
By Bester Kayaye
Malawi President Lazarus Chakwera says his administration is determined to scale-up transport infrastructure development projects in the country in order to attain job, wealth and food security creation agendas.
Chakwera cited in his speech themed “Accelerating the Change Malawians Fought For” presented when he opened the third meeting in the 49 session of parliament and the 2021/2022 budget meeting in Lilongwe.
The president explained that improved transport infrastructure is part of the three delivery accelerators that the current administration will invest time, resources, and energy in to speed up the realization development agendas.
Chakwera said: “Transport infrastructure and public works has been identified as an accelerator of economic activities. There can be no exchange of goods and services without transport infrastructure.”
“In the next financial year, my Administration will commence construction and rehabilitation of several road projects including: Expansion to dual carriageway of the M1 road from Crossroads Roundabout to Alimaunde in Kanengo, Lilongwe at a total cost of US$25 million through a grant from the People’s Republic of China.”
He also announced that government intends to expand to dual carriageway M1 Road Section between Lilongwe Hotel and Lilongwe CCAP estimated to cost about US$ 30 million with a grant from the Japanese Government and the stretch between Lilongwe Hotel and Crossroads Roundabout will be financed locally.
Government is also planning to rehabilitate M1 Road from Kamuzu International Airport Junction to Mzimba Turn Off and from Kacheche to Chiweta at an estimated cost of 195 million Euros co-financed by the European Investment Bank and the Malawi Government as well as Nsipe – Liwonde Road at an estimated cost of US$30 million financed by the African Development Bank.
Chakwera said: “My Administration will use part of the MK1 trillion Infrastructure bonds which will be raised on the local market to rehabilitate and upgrade eight roads.”
Among the roads to be refined from infrastructure bonds include; Nsanje – Marka Road – Completing upgrading to paved 28 kilometres; Dzaleka – Ntchisi – Mpalo – Malomo Road upgrading to paved road covering a distance of 70 kilometres and the M5 Balaka Market – Kaphatenga – Dwangwa Mukwiya (Nkhatabay) – rehabilitation covering a distance of 469 kilometers
“We will also commission the design and construction of the other stretch from Edingeni- Kamchocho-Euthini-Mpherembe-Rumphi as this road has a huge significance in this agricultural rich area,” he said.
On rail transport, the President stressed that his administration will resuscitate the Sena Corridor Railway from the Port of Beira in Mozambique to Limbe in Blantyre. The project will involve rehabilitation and upgrading of the 201 kilometre Limbe – Marka railway section.
Chakwera said: “The funding for these 40 works will also come from the MK1 trillion Government bond. In addition, my Administration will prioritize the construction of the Salima-Tunduma Railway-line under the Build Operate and Transfer Model following review of the relevant laws to make this happen.”
“Meanwhile, a feasibility study of this railway will start as a matter of urgency. Still on railway lines, we will also commence construction of a 170 metre long Rail – Road bridge across the Ruo River.”
On water transport services, the President announced that government will finalize the construction works on a MK10 billion Port at Likoma Island which will include a landing facility at Chizumulu Island.
He also said his government is planning to resuscitate local aviation industry through establishment of the Malawi Civil Aviation Authority to regulate the air transport sub – sector.
“We will have a fully-fledged Civil Aviation Authority by June 2022, my administration is determined to bring back the glory that our flagship airline once enjoyed and we will recapitalize Malawi Airlines.”
Meanwhile government is revising the National Construction Industry Act of 1996 and its subsidiary regulations to be in line with African Union’s Agenda 2063 and the Africa Continental Free Trade Area.
Government is expected to enforce Malawian construction firms Order of 2014 which requires foreign firms to either partner in a Joint Venture arrangement or subcontract at least 30 percent of the works by volume or value to local Malawians.