Construction works and upgrading of the Makwasa-Thekelani-Muona-Makhanga Road to bitumen standard is taking shape with about 62 percent of the work completed.
Minister of Transport and Public Works Jappie Mhango expressed satisfaction with progress of the works during a tour of the road on Wednesday saying he was upbeat that the contractor, Mota-Engil, will even beat the deadline.
The project which commenced on August 15, 2016 is expected to be completed by August 2019.
“I am very impressed with the progress that the contractor has achieved so far. The contractor is doing very well despite the fact that at some point in July works halted due to unfavourable weather conditions. The variance is very minimal and I am optimistic that before the onset of rains they should be very much ahead of time,” said Mhango.
The minister further said the road which passes through tea estates, which is one of the major forex earners in Malawi, will ensure easy transportation of agriculture products such as tea to Blantyre which is a link to external markets.
“Aside from that, the road also provides direct employment during construction which has a direct bearing on poverty reduction,” he added
Commenting on the same, Roads Authority (RA) chief executive officer Emmanuel Matapa said surfacing on the road is now at about 28 kilometres (km) out of 82 km while earth works is at over 40 kilometers which is almost 50 percent of the entire works.
The 82-kilometre road is being constructed by Mota-Engil over a period of 36 months.
The project is being funded by the Saudi Fund, Kuwait Fund, Badea, OPEC Fund and the Malawi government to the tune of K27 billion.