The Malawi Government, through the Roads Authority (RA), with funds from the African Development Bank (AfDB), plans to rehabilitate the Liwonde–Mangochi Road as part of Nacala Corridor.
In December last year, the AfDB approved a loan of $65 million (K28 billion) and a grant of $900 000 (K387 million) to Malawi for the project.
This week, the RA in a press statement, has requested for design review, pre-contract services and supervision of the project.
According to AfDB, the project spans for 125 km from Nsipe in Ntcheu to Mangochi through Liwonde.
Authorities note that the road which passes through Ntcheu, Balaka and Mangochi will benefit the wider populations, including those of Machinga, Zomba and Blantyre providing quicker access for the transportation of agricultural inputs and produce and access to health, school, markets and other social amenities.
The existing road, as it is, is in a poor condition and acts as a bottleneck to the movement of people and goods within and outside the road corridor area.
The rehabilitation works will take place from January 2014 – June 2016 with 12 months of defects liability period and will have road will have a design speed of 50 – 100 km per hour. Once the road is upgraded, it will have an economic design life of 20 years.
AfDB has said the proposed road is very crucial in supporting socio-economic development in this region and neighbouring countries such as Mozambique and Zambia.
There are a number of projects under way that will improve Malawi’s connectivity to Nacala and hence improve trade facilitation.
Brazilian mining group Vale is constructing a railroad, to be used to carry coal mined in Tete to the deep water port of Nacala, passing through Malawi which is expected to reduce Malawi’s transportation cost by about 40 percent.