Malawi Government is hopeful that financiers of the 82-km Thyolo-Thekerani-Muona-Bangula road project will provide extra funds for the project as construction work is progress well.
Minister of Transport and Public Works Ulemu Chilapondwa was speaking in Thyolo after touring the project on Wednesday.
He said the financiers, who include Saudi Fund, Kuwait Fund, Badea, Opec Fund and the Malawi Government, promised to provide the extra funds conditional on the performance of the current phase.
“Since recommencing the project, it shows that it is going on well. They have promised that if we do well on the current phase they will also provide extra money for the rest of the project. Based on what I have seen today, I hope that they will provide the funds,” said Chilapondwa.
The Thyolo-Thekerani-Muona-Bangula starts at Number One Trading Centre in Thyolo and extends southwards to Bangula.
According to the Roads Authority (RA), the project’s contract price is about $64.15 million (K26.9 billion) and is estimated to take 36 months to be completed. The initial completion date is July 25 2016.
According to the authority, two percent of permanent works have so far been completed.
Specifically, the project requires widening the existing pavement from Thyolo to Makwasa and upgrading the earth road from Makwasa to Makhanga to bitumen standard.
The authority, however, notes that there are a number of challenges that the project is experiencing including electricity poles and rainfall.
The RA has noted that several electricity poles within the road prism are obstructing construction works. However, the authority has said Escom, which has already been paid to relocate the poles, has planned to commence the works in the week beginning April 20.
The project contract was signed in February 2008 and physical construction started in August 2008 only to be suspended in 2009 due to funding constraints.
But after a series of negotiations, an agreement was reached to restart the project which was re-commenced on June 26 2013 although the available funds can only cover about 39 km up to close to Muona Trading Centre.