President Peter Mutharika made a stopover at Kamuzu Barrage at Liwonde in Machinga on Friday to appreciate the upgrading of the barrage.
The President said he was impressed with the works currently being undertaken there.
The upgrading is being done under the World Bank-funded Shire River Basin Management Programme.
Mutharika arrived at the barrage around 4 o’clock in the afternoon en route from Blantyre to Mangochi in the Eastern Region.
Kamuzu Barrage technical official, Tony Nyasulu, briefed the President on the progress of the upgrading of the barrage, which is to regulate the flow of Shire River to meet demand of downstream users.
Conduril Engenharia, a company from Portugal, is carrying out civil works to replace the old gate, according to Nyasulu.
He said a new bridge would also be built to reduce traffic on the barrage which also acts as a bridge.
Currently, half of the Shire River (on the bridge) is closed and coffer dams have been created to pave way for civil works where the river used to flow.
President, accompanied by First Lady Gertrude, left Kamuzu Barrage after 20 minutes to proceed with his trip to Mangochi, impressed with the upgrading works.
Malawi’s first President, Hastings Kamuzu Banda, commissioned the Kamuzu Barrage 50 years ago.
Before the President’s stop over, Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development, Allan Chiyembekeza and his counterpart Minister of Transport and Public Works Francis Kasaila earlier in the day toured the project and both said it is progressing well.
The two ministers made the remarks after they went under the barrage to appreciate civil and other related works which will separate functions of the bridge to be built and the upgraded barrage.
The upgrading of the barrage, construction of the new bridge closer to the barrage, installation of a weed boom upstream to capture floating water weeds are expected to finish in 2017, according to Nyasulu.—Mana