Ministry of Transport and Public Works says it will refloat the Nkhata Bay jetty pontoon which completely sank last Friday.
The pontoon sunk after the chains that hold it broke due to strong north-easterly winds.
The ministry’s spokesperson, James Chakwera, said government does not have plans to replace the current jetty, constructed in 1957 and lacked comprehensive maintenance.
“Refloating will require some specialised machines while we cannot talk of constructing a new one now. That [constructing a new jetty] will come after trying other options,” he said.
Chakwera added that a team of officials from Malawi Shipping Company, who are concessionaires of the port, and Marine Department were in Nkhata Bay for preliminary investigations and assessment.
“They will then conduct a detailed investigation into what happened, then look at what will be done,” he said.
In an interview on Tuesday, Likoma district commissioner (DC) Charles Mwawembe said it is risky to be ferried in private boats as most of them are not seaworthy.
“I had a bad experience on Sunday. I had to take off my shoes and roll up my trousers to cross over. The cost implication is also high and our lives are at a high risk as these private boats do not meet safety standards. They do not even have life jackets,” he said.
Zodiak Broadcasting Station (ZBS) reporter in Nkhata Bay, Masozi Kasambara, said people pay K200 to K300 to be ferried ashore from the ships.