The deadline of Masauko Chipembere Highway Phase 11 in MalawiÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s commercial capital, Blantyre has been pushed to October this year, Blantyre City Council (BCC) chief executive officer (CEO) Ted Nandolo disclosed on Monday.
The K1.6 billion ($1 million) project was initially expected to be completed by December last year, but due to unforeseen circumstances that included the recurrent fuel crisis, the Japan-funded project stopped.
Nandolo said in an interview they are only waiting for communication from Japanese International Cooperation Agency (Jica).
Said Nandolo: “The cost will slightly go up; it cannot be the same. The fuel problem affected the project, but that has been sorted out. We have rehabilitated our fuel tank at Ginnery Corner offices and we already have diesel in reserve.
“Puma [Energy Malawi Limited] has also assured us of continuous supply. They have assured us they will give this project a priority.”
He said apart from the fuel problem, relocation of lines by Blantyre Water Board, Escom, Malawi Telecommunications Limited and BCC also contributed to the delay as it involved tracing of underground lines and pipes.
Nandolo said they expect to finish mobilising resources end January before they embark on the construction works of the dual carriage way that stretches from Kamuzu Stadium Roundabout to Illovo Roundabout in Limbe.
Nandolo said they are aware of the inconveniences the bumpy diversion from Chichiri to Maselema is causing.
“We have received complaints from motorists and minibus operators. It is true the diversion is in bad shape. Be assured, it was in our plans to do something about it. We will punch it up.”
A Japanese firm, Nippo Corporation, is constructing the 4.3-kilometre road, which started mid November 2010. This is a second phase of the Masauko Chipembere Highway.