KIA risks closure


…As rain exposes lack of maintenance

Kamuzu International Airport (KIA) in Malawi risks being closed following flooding that hit the country’s main airport on Friday.

Following a heavy downpour in Lilongwe, a roof  of a building at the airport leaked and travellers who were to catch flights to South Africa and Kenya got wet.

In a video that has gone viral on the social media, passengers are seen trying to protect their luggages at the airport.

According to a civil aviation expert (name withheld), the facility risks being closed if the flooding is attributed to poor standards.

KIA is supposed to pass standards set by International Air Transport Association and International Civil Aviation.

The incident has exposed authorities’ failure to maintain the airport and some social media users have condemned the Peter Mutharika administration for ignoring the facility.

“It is flooding as though there has been a dam burst in the Kamuzu “International” Airport. And there was Peter Mutharika the other day saying MCP did absolutely nothing in 31 years – he can’t even maintain what MCP built,” posted social commentator Onjezani Kenani on Facebook.

Several commenters on the post agreed with Kenani and described the situation as shameful for the nation.

“This is very shameful. And Peter Mutharika is paid for doing nothing,” said one commenter.

“Absolutely embarrassing, I must say. Not at the gateway to the country. Simply unacceptable,” added another.

Anjimile Mtila said: Eish we did not have stinky toilets at KIA. British Airways said they will not come back to KIA because of stinking toilets! At which point are we ashamed I can’t deal!”

Another Facebook user noted that the leaking in the International Arrivals wing looked like “the water is coming out from a fountain.”

Currently, KIA is being expanded with a new arrival wing, departure wing and domestic terminal being constructed.

The passenger terminal building will also be rehabilitated as part of the works funded by the Japanese government.

A total of K17 billion is to be used for the project and it is expected to be completed this year.

Cleaning up the mess