Minister of Transport and Public Works Jappie Mhango on Wednesday officially launched construction of a K10 billion port in Likoma.
According to designs we have seen, the port is expected to have a jetty, warehouse, offices, customs and immigration offices, ablution blocks, restaurant, passenger lounge and an access road.
Speaking in an interview after laying a foundation stone, the minister dispelled suggestions that the launch is another campaign tool for the governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) to amass votes in the forthcoming elections.
“That is why we have the contractor and equipment on site to start works immediately. There is no politics involved.
“People should not politicise everything. This is all about development.” he said.
Marine Department acting director Captain John Mhango said the ministry has considered the aspect of climate change in the construction of the jetty, which is the core component of the port, to make sure that the structure lasts five decades.
“Our feasibility study has taken into consideration the highest and lowest water levels in the next 100 years to avoid effects of climate change,” he said.
Likoma district commissioner Peter Jimusole said lack of a jetty in Likoma has been a major outcry in the district.
“We have suffered a lot due to lack of a jetty. People lose property, and sometimes lives, when boarding or alighting the ship,” he said. n