Roads Fund Administration (RFA), a government agency that raises and administers funds for construction, maintenance and rehabilitation of public roads, has this year set aside K1.2 billion for the construction of rural roads.
RFA chief executive officer Stewart Malata said this on Thursday in Lilongwe on the sidelines of the official handover of road maintenance tools to 620 community road clubs in the country.
“This programme is important and sustainable. To show that we are fully committed to ensuring that this programme is successful and sustained, we have allocated K1.2 billion this fiscal year.
“The tools we are handing over today have cost us K371 million from the Road Fund, but we are optimistic that they will transform the outlook of the roads in rural areas,” he said.
Malata said RFA has demonstrated commitment by applying part of the funds in the budget towards the procurement of road maintenance tools in addition to the continuous financing of 17 district councils with administrative expenses and the payment of monthly wages to over 4 633 clubs.
However, Malata said RFA is not impressed with the tendency by some club members who are not dedicated and normally do shoddy work, which affects the quality of the roads.
He urged councils to bring documentation to RFA on time to ensure speedy process of payment.
Lilongwe district commissioner Lawford Palani, who received the equipment on behalf of 17 district councils where the projects are being carried out, said the project is changing people’s lives as they get paid for the work done.
“When the groups have enough equipment, members are dedicated as morale is normally high,” he said.
Community Road Maintenance Programme (CRMP), formerly Income Generating Public Works Programme (IGPWP), is one of the initiatives designed to respond to the income generation needs of the rural poor through a variety of multi-sectoral and cross cutting initiatives. n