Minister of Transport and Public Works Jappie Mhango has advised the Chinese contractor for the second phase of the K3.4 billion Dowa-Chezi road to involve locals in the project.
Mhango said government wants the locals to benefit from the road project which is currently underway.
The Lumbadzi-Dowa-Chezi road project kicked off in 2009 and was expected to be completed in 2013 but it stalled.
Traditional Authority Chiwere of Dowa has on several occasions been asking government and the Dowa District Council to grade the bumpy road after observing that little or no attention at all was given to this road since 2013.
Speaking after touring the road project to appreciate the progress of the new contractor, Mhango advised the contractor and all stakeholders to ensure that the project is delivered within the planned timeline with the contractor employing more of the locals to work on the project.
He said the road will reduce transportation costs of farm produces from the district to other places providing a shorter route to Mzuzu from Salima as well as enabling people to easily access social basic amenities such as schools, markets and hospitals, among others.
In his remarks, Chief Executive officer for the Roads Authority Emmanuel Matepa said the Authority was sure that it had selected the appropriate contractor and consultant to construct an international standard road.
He promised to monitor progress of the works so that the contractor gives the people of Dowa a good road.
Matepa said the contractor will work on the 20Km stretch in two fronts, one from the Boma and the other from Chezi in order to complete the road in time.
Speaking earlier, Dowa District Commissioner, Alex Mdooko said the road under construction is a nightmare to travel on and hoped that once construction is completed, cost of repairs for council vehicles and those of the general public will be minimised.
Mdooko said the road will ease challenges which the district is facing to take patients to the main Dowa District Hospital in time.
He added that the road will also help those who engage in agriculture to access markets and other basic social amenities more quickly a development which is welcome to all the Dowa people.
China Civil Engineering Company is constructing the Dowa boma-Chezi road and the road is expected to take 18 months to complete.