The Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI) says it believes the damage to public infrastructure caused by Cyclone Ana provides an opportunity for the country to raise the standards of public infrastructure and fight corruption in the construction industry.
CDEDI Executive Director Sylvester Namiwa told Journalists on Thursday in Lilongwe that CDEDI has noted with great concern that the heavy rains the country is experiencing have exposed poor workmanship, negligence and outright disregard of contractual details in the implementation of some projects.
He added that the incidents have shown that there has been corruption in the industry as such it is better Malawians to keep a keen eye on public infrastructure projects being implemented in their areas as one way of guaranteeing value for the money spent on the projects, such as roads, railways and bridges.
“It does not need emphasis that a good road network is a catalyst for development. However, as a country, we have needlessly lost lives due to road accidents because of poor conditions of the roads and washed away bridges.
“Although the impact of the cyclones and tropical storms has been devastating, Malawians are their own witnesses that, to a large extent, the losses of lives, government finances are due to poor workmanship. and It is against this background that CDEDI is challenging the Roads Authority (RA) to audit projects under its jurisdiction against details of signed contracts the same, and give feedback on the same,” he said.
CDEDI has demanded the disclosure of contractual agreements for roads such as Jenda-Edingeni, Karonga-Songwe, Mzimba-Mzarangwe, Kapiri-Mkanda, Ntchisi-Malomo, Kenyatta Drive & Sharrar Street, Ntcheu-Tsangano, Nsanje-Marka and Nsanama-Nayuchi.
On the same, CDEDI has implored that going forward, Malawi must deploy due diligence in tender processes for all.
“CDEDI calls upon the Ministry of Transport and Public Works to provide adequate soul searching and due diligence to ensure that the company it hires for the project is of impeccable expertise and good repute. In addition, CDEDI also calls for audits by relevant authorities on projects in the water and sanitation sector, which is another sector that needs constant check to ensure that Malawians have access to potable water,” he said.
He also pointed out Karonga Water Supply Nkhata Bay Water Supply Project as another project that need audit and he has requested the Northern Region Water Board to institute audits in regard to the projects as soon as possible.