Deputy Minister of Transport and Public Works Nancy Chaola Mdooko has said construction of the Tsangano-Neno-Mwanza Road is an indication of government’s commitment to ensure a good road network in the country.
Speaking on Thursday when she toured construction works of the project, Mdooko said for a long time people of Neno have been complaining, and felt neglected due to the poor road network in the district.
She described the project as significant “as it connects Neno to the M1, easing transport challenges among farmers around the area, and improving access to social amenities”.
The Malawi Defence Force (MDF) construction company is constructing the 20-kilometre stretch of the 140-kilometre road from Tsangano to Kambilonje, which is budgeted at K9.6 billion.
China Geo-Engineering Corporation has just started working on another 20-kilometre stretch—from Mwalawoyera to Neno Boma, to cost K6.6 billion—while government is looking for K13 billion and a contractor to do the remaining 90 kilometres, from Neno Boma to Kambilonje. The other 10 kilometres were already done by other contractors.
“I am impressed with the quality of the section of the road MDF is constructing. MDF has shown us that local construction companies can do a great job,” she said.
MDF construction chief executive officer Colonel Fostino Gundaphiri highlighted intermittent funding as a major challenge they faced, which he said led to the delay in completion of the project.
The government-funded project, which commenced in April 2018, was set to be completed by September 25 2019, but the deadline was moved to October 31 2021.
Said Gundaphiri: “We will still need an additional period to cover up for the period that we suspended the project.”
On his part, China Geo-Engineering corporation business manager Wilson Desheng committed to having the section they are working on completed in the allocated 18 months period.