Government says two roads were completed in the 2019/20 fiscal year while at least six roads which were expected to be finished in the same financial year have been carried over to the 2020/21 financial year.
Minister of Finance Joseph Mwanamvekha revealed this in his budget presentation on Friday.
“The following projects were completed during the 2019/2020 financial year: the 14.7 kilometers Dowa-Chezi road which was a continuation of the road from Dzaleka, passing through Dowa boma to Chezi and connecting to the M14 Salima- Lilongwe Road.
“And Kawere-Mkanda Road which involved upgrading of 10 kilometers to bitumen standard on the road from Mchinji boma going eastwards to Kapiri,” said Mwanamvekha.
He added that a number of projects were also expected to be completed by end of 2019/2020 fiscal year but have since been carried over into 2020/2021 fiscal year.
Mwanamvekha mentioned construction of Thyolo-Thekerani-Muona-Makhanga Road, phase II which is fully funded by Government to the cost of K7.0 billion. He said construction is estimated to be completed by December 2020.
He also mentioned upgrading of the 162 kilometers Ntcheu-Tsangano- Neno-Mwanza Road from earth road to bitumen standard. The road starts from Tsangano turn-off, passing through some trading centers such as Kambilonjo, Doviko, Tsangano and connecting with M6 road at Mwanza.
The third road is the Njakwa-Livingstonia Road which involves upgrading 75 kilometers of earth road to bitumen standard which Mwanamvekha said is 65 percent complete;
Mwanamvekha said another delayed road is the Lirangwe-Chingale-Namatunu-Machinga Road which involves upgrading of the 62 kilometers earth road to bitumen surface. He said progress on this road is recorded at around 53 percent
The minister also mentioned Rumphi-Hewe turn-off road which covers a distance of 20 kilometers from Chikwawa on the road to Nyika Hewe turn-off. He further mentioned Cape Maclear-Mangochi road which commenced during the 2019/2020 fiscal year.
According to Mwanamvekha, government is also upgrading 3,685 kilometers of rural road network nationwide to improve access to rural areas especially during rainy season.
“In addition to this program, Government in 2019/2020 launched seventy-two contracts for the construction of bridges on rural roads,” the minister said.
He then mentioned roads which are still under construction with progress at various stages. The minister said these are Chikwawa-Chapananga-Thambani-Mwanza road; Chinakanaka-Msikawanjala-Chinyama road; Lutchenza-Khonjeni road; and Dwangwa-Nkhotakota M5 road.
He added that government is also continuing with works on Thabwa-Chitseko-Seveni Eastbank road; Chilinga-Muloza road; and Makande-Chimwawa-Namachete road.
According to Mwanamvekha, in 2020/2021 fiscal year government will launch important road construction projects
These include Kamuzu International Airport-Mzimba turn-off-Kacheche-Chiweta M1 road and rehabilitation of about 347 kilometers of the M1 road will be rehabilitated.
There is also the Nsipe-Liwonde road project which will upgrade 55 kilometers road stretch. Mwanamvekha said this will be covered under the Multinational Nacala Road Corridor Development Project Phase V.
He added that government will improve the road network in cities and urban centers for smooth flow of traffic as follows
These include construction of the interchange at Area 18 roundabout which the minister said is expected to finish during the 2020/2021 financial year as well as construction of Dual Carriageway from Bunda turnoff to Crossroads Hotel.
“Preparations are at an advanced stage to upgrade the M1 road to a dual carriage way in the city of Lilongwe. Works, Madam Speaker are expected to commence during the 2020/2021 financial year,” he said.
He also mentioned construction of an Interchange at Chichiri roundabout in Blantyre which he said is being planned for 2020/2021 financial year using off-budget financing.