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Minister Concedes Nsanje-Marka Road was Poorly Designed

I don't understand how the Roads Authority let this happen - Hara I don't understand how the Roads Authority let this happen - Hara - file photo

Minister of Transport Jacob Hara has conceded poor workmanship on a 27-kilometer Nsanje-Marka road that has cost over K11 billion.

Hara, told Zodiak Online in an interview yesterday, "the road was poorly designed.

"I don't understand how the Roads Authority let this happen."

This follows concerns by various stakeholders in the district including Civil Society Organizations (CSOs).

They cite small bridges and small ring culverts, claiming the road is a death trap and saying some areas are experiencing heavy flooding as a result.

Mathias Chilumba a concerned citizen from the area of Traditional Authority Malemia says they will not accept the road to be inaugurated before addressing all the faults.

"We carried out an assessment exercise from Nsanje to Marka and we identified about 32 faults.

"We have been pushing the government to act on the same but to no avail. We will continue to press for action," lamented Chilumba.

The concern has been shared by various traditional leaders including Traditional Authority Ngabu who demands a swift action from the duty bearers.

Nsanje Civil Society Organizations (CSO) Network vice chairperson, Jonas January told Zodiak Online, "We are collecting data from the community so we understand the problem for advocacy purposes."

The National Construction Industry Council (NCIC) Corporate Affairs Officer, Lyford Gideon, says they conducted their own investigations on the same.

"After receiving complaints from the communities, we went on the ground to investigate. We shared our findings with the concerned parties for redress.

He added, it's a comprehensive report I can't divulge the contents in this discussion," explained Gideon.

The Minister of Transport however did not explain as what will happen next.

However he earlier told Zodiak Online that he had directed that the designs of the road be changed to withstand the district's weather conditions.

He said he was not impressed as some sections of the road were too low.

The 27-kilometer road commenced in March 2019 and was expected to be completed in two years.

Hara however said the deadline was extended to February this year due to various factors including changing of the designs.

The Nsanje CSO says the absence of standard road infrastructure in Ndamera, Makoko, Chimombo, Ngabu and part of Malemia is affecting the growth of businesses.

It says this is contrary to NCIC Policy in line with the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy III (MDGS III) on facilitating the reduction of poverty through sustainable economic growth and infrastructure development.

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