Fuel Challenges Disrupt Mzimba Street Road Expansion Project

Authorities say fuel challenges in the country has forced construction works of the Mzimba street in Lilongwe, which is being upgraded to six-lanes road, to halt for a month now.

Contractor Mota-Engil says they require about 4000 liters of diesel every day for operations which cannot be achieved with the current fuel situation.

Mota-Engil spokesperson Thomas Chafunya told us Monday that they have grounded all their plants as they could not manage to fuel them.

Said Chafunya, “The fuel shortage has affected our operations. We have reserve tanks holding about 40,000 liters of fuel which can take us for 10 days. With the current fuel supply, we cannot manage to maintain our reserves and the only option is to slow down operations.”

This came out during a stakeholder meeting in Lilongwe where authorities also decried the behavior by some people who steal sign posts on the construction site and non-adherence to the signs by some road users. This puts other people at risk of accidents.

Roads Authority spokesperson Posha Kajanga has acknowledged the disruption brought by the fuel deficiency. She however pleaded with Mota-Engil to explore other ways of getting the fuel to ensure they still deliver the project within the agreed time frame.

“We are hoping that they will try to explore other avenues, Mota-Engil is a big company. They have been talking of contacting other companies outside this country to supply them with fuel,” said Kajanga.

The Mzimba street from Queens mall on the Lilongwe-Mchinji Road to Lilongwe bridge near Kamuzu Central hospital is being upgraded from two to six-lanes to the tune of 9.8 billion kwacha.

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