Government, through the Ministry of Transport and Public Works, needs US$200 million (approximately K3.4 billion) to repair rural infrastructure that includes roads and bridges that are, currently, in a sorry state.
Minister of Transport and Public Works, Jacob Hara disclosed this in an interview with Malawi News Agency (MANA).
He said the ministry is aware that communities in hard to reach areas fail to access essential services such as health and education due to bad road infrastructure network.
He said delivery of agricultural inputs, through Affordable Inputs Programme (AIP), becomes difficult and market linkages also become difficult for traders and farmers due to bad status of roads and bridges saying this is why the ministry wants to repair road infrastructure.
“We, currently, have infrastructure damage worth US$ 800million (approximately K1.4 trillion) that was caused by Tropical Cyclone Freddy. Government has sourced funding to start repairs to ensure we have the last mile connectivity. We will make all designated roads passable by stabilising earth roads so that they become all weather roads,” he said.
Chipiliro Manda, who drives a van on most roads across Malawi, said drivers feel the pain of driving on bad roads in the course of delivering goods to various destinations across the country.
“During rainy season, we suffer a lot; transportation of goods becomes very difficult because of bad roads and bridges which takes more time for us to reach our destination,” he said.
He said most drivers struggle to reach their destinations as they, sometimes, end up stuck in mud for a day or more at the expense of business.
Manda, therefore, appealed to government to repair roads and bridges that got damaged by the current rains and Tropical Cyclone Freddy last rainy season to allow undisturbed movement of people and goods.
Recently, traffic was disturbed as M5 Road at Golomoti in Dedza and Salima at Mwala Oyera as the roads got damaged due to the current rains.
Reported by Memory Khuthuliwa