Machinjiri residents to use diversions for four months


Residents from Machinjiri in Blantyre will wait a bit longer to access their main road which was damaged by floods as the Blantyre City Council says rehabilitation works will take at least four months to complete.

This is as a result of raging waters which on Sunday February 12 swept away a bridge at Area 10 on Lunzu River a development that has seen people in Luwanda and surrounding areas such as Areas 1, 2, 3, 5, and 19, failing to go to Limbe, Makhetha, Khama, or Areas 7, 6 and 9 in the township.

However, the residents should wait until May or somewhere around June to reconnect as the city council says the rehabilitation works which are yet to commence, will take them four months to complete.

Blantyre City Council Director of Engineering Services Chimwemwe Mndelemani, told the local media that the council has for now commenced a procurement processes as it seeks an approval from the Public Procurement and Disposal of Assets office on engaging a contractor for the rehabilitation works.

He said the council is now planning to fix some diversion roads which will keep residents in the township connected as they wait for the completion of the rehabilitation works.

“So far we have identified diversions, these are existing roads which can also serve the public alternatively. Now the council is working on doing some maintenance works on these existing roads so that they are all in good condition,” said Mndelemani.

This is coming after some residents in the township threatened to ban motorists from using the only accessible three-kilometre bypass road that connects Chikapa and Mbwanda in Area 2 saying the road has been neglected by authorities including BCC for many years.

Area 6 Community Chairperson Barnabas Komakoma recently told Malawi24 that their idea to close the bypass road is because the communities have been fixing the road using their own resources for the past 15 years when authorities showed no concern.

Meanwhile, while welcoming the news about BCC’s plans to fix all the diversions in Machinjiri, Komakoma urged the council authorities to prioritize the only accessible three-kilometer stretch which is currently in bad shape.

“We have engaged our local authorities including our two parliamentarians; Honorable John Bande and Honorable Gertrude Nankhumwa to engage with the city council to fix our road which is in bad state since the traffic has now increased,’’ said Komakoma.

Apart from using the said bypass, another option for motorists in Luwanda and areas 1, 2, 3, 5, and 19 to interact with friends and relatives in Makhetha, Khama, or Areas 7, 6 and 9, is through the Magalasi-Blantyre road and then Limbe.

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