Kasungu South-East member of Parliament (MP) Khumbize Kandodo-Chiponda (Malawi Congress Party-MCP) on Tuesday asked the Ministry of Transport and Public Works to explain what it is doing to address traffic congestion in the cities of Blantyre and Lilongwe.
Through a supplementary question, Kandodo-Chiponda wondered whether the ministry was aware that in the next 10 years there could be traffic congestion on most of the roads if nothing is done today.
She further highlighted that despite some roads being barely two kilometres, motorists take longer to drive.
Said Kandodo-Chiponda: “For instance, in Lilongwe, from Parliament to Kamuzu Central Hospital [KCH] it is less than two kilometres yet it takes over an hour to reach KCH Roundabout. The same goes for Blantyre on some roads, what is being done about this? Does the minister know how much of a problem this is?”
In his response, Minister of Transport and Public Works Francis Kasaila said he was aware and that government was already taking in steps to address the problem.
He said when funds are identified they would be channelled to roads expansion.
Said Kasaila: “Government is aware of the problem, but sometimes the challenge is funds. As I am talking, there are some funds that have been identified for other roads and we will also address these said roads. We are taking each step at a time.”
The minister, who is also leader of the House, said government will work with the Roads Authority (RA) to speed up the projects to address the challenges.
In Malawi’s cities there are few dual carriage roads. For example, in Blantyre it is only the eight-kilometre Masauko Chipembere Highway and a stretch of the Old Chileka Road from Clock Tower Roundabout to Wenela Bus Station junction whereas in Lilongwe it is a section of Paul Kagame Highway and Presidential Drive at City Centre.
In Blantyre, however, Tsiranana Avenue from Maselema Roundabout to Chiradzulu junction through Kachere Township is being developed into a dual-carriage highway. n