The Roads Authority (RA) has said upgrading works of the 82-kilometre (km) Thyolo-Thekerani-Muona-Makhanga Road to bitumen class is showing positive progress with 12.2 percent of the works undertaken so far.
The project, which includes widening the existing pavement from Thyolo to Makwasa and upgrading of the existing gravel road from Makwasa in Thyolo to Makhanga in Nsanje, has so far been surfaced for approximately 6.38km with first seal and 21 culverts constructed.
Portuguese multi-disciplinary and construction conglomerate Mota-Engil is building the road.
Minister of Transport and Public Works Jappie Mhango and RA officials toured the road works yesterday to appreciate progress of the project.
Mhango said it is pleasing to note progress as the road will ease challenges that motorists used to face in the past, and expressed optimism that it will have a direct bearing on poverty reduction.
He said: “I am impressed that this road is progressing as it will help benefit a lot of people who will be using the road to sell their merchandise to distant places as well as those that travel from Nsanje to Thyolo.”
RA acting board chairperson Timothy Benjamin Saopa said funds for the project are readily available; hence, expectations are that the project will successfully be completed in its rightful duration.
The project is being funded by Saudi Fund, Kuwait Fund, Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (Badea), Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) Fund and the Malawi Government at a budget of K27.3 billion. It is a 36-month project expected to end August 14 2019. Project works resumed last August after government terminated the previous contractor’s contract and awarded the same to Mota-Engil. n