Communities in Phalombe District have expressed excitement with the construction of Phalombe-Mpata-Nkhulambe Road.
The eight-kilometre hilly road will pass between Mulanje and Michesi mountains—connecting with Zomba-Jali-Phalombe-Chitakale Road on the western side of the two mountains and Chiringa-Muloza-Mulanje Road on the eastern side.
In an interview, group village head Khamula said the road will ease mobility challenges of people to Phalombe Boma.
He said: “Transport to Phalombe Boma was expensive because people used to go round Michesi Mountain and connect to Phalombe-Migowi Road. The new road has also shortened the distance between the two places.”
He has since warned people to refrain from vandalising road signs and the road.
Liny Chikaza from Karamah Village in Traditional Authority Mkhumba said the road will ease transportation of their farm produce to the market at Phalombe Boma.
“Besides, women will access Phalombe Health Centre easily unlike in the past when they used to walk long distances to Nkhulambe Health Centre,” she said.
In a separate interview, Phalombe District Council director of public works Clement Ntambo described the project as a relief to people on the other side of the mountains to access necessary social services from Phalombe Boma.
“The road will also spur development in the area as most people will now be able to do business as mobility will be easy,” he said.
Ntambo said the project was expected to be completed in nine months from September last year, but this is under review for a possible extension considering that it has been disrupted for some months due to compensation and Covid-19 issues.
The project is being implemented by Agriculture Sector Wide Approach-Support Project II (Aswap-SP II) with financial support from Multi Donor Trust Fund which comprises organisations including the World Bank.