As work on the Chingeni Tollgate Plaza in Ntcheu nears completion, locals are excited with the prospect of a business boost when it opens by August.
Roads Fund Administration (RFA) spokesperson Masauko Mngwaluko said the five-lane tollgate would rake into the national coffers K2 billion annually from users of the M1. Apart from benefiting the nation, he said in an interview, the tollgate will boost businesses for the locals in Nsiyaludzu II Village, under T/A Makwangwala and other surrounding villages.
“We know there will be more business for people surrounding the tollgate, but we will make sure they conduct the businesses a bit further from the tollgate so that there is no disruptions that can leading to congestion. We will not construct staff houses, so the locals will benefit to that effect,” said Mngwaluko.
Apart from that, he said communities within a 10-kilometre radius will have discounts. Further, we have been interacting with people in the area to avoid vandalism and paying compensation where their houses were demolished.
A villager, Leniya Kasinja, said after getting her compensation when her house was demolished, she constructed a better house not far from the tollgate, and she sees a lot of business potential.
“Before the construction started, this was a bush. We can foresee growth in the area, which will boost our businesses. This will bring a better livelihood for me instead of just cutting grass and fetching firewood,” said the divorcee and mother of six.
Another villager, Linly Makata said she has benefited from the project, as she has been employed as a labourer. National Roads Authority is using local unskilled labour in the construction.
“It has brought a difference to my life. Since November last year, I have been working here doing a number of menial jobs that have helped me bring food to the table,” she said.
Apart from Chingeni, Malawi will have other tollgates at roads leading to Malawi borderposts at Kalinyeke in Dedza, Songwe in Chitipa, Mwanza and Mchinji.