Drying ports threaten water transport—report

Ministry of Transport and Public Works has admitted that the drying up of Chipoka and Chilumba ports in Salima and Karonga, respectively threaten the future of the country’s water transport.

This comes at a time government, through the National Transport Master Plan, wants to shift overreliance on road to water and rail transport.

Minister of Transport and Public Works Ralph Jooma said in an interview on Saturday government is working to find ways to revive the two ports.

He described the ports as critical to the country’s transport sector as they are strategically positioned to receive cargo from ships. 

“Through the master plan, we will be engaging into heavy projects that will revive our ports. At the moment, we are mobilising resources to help us to revive the two ports so that we can recommence using them.

“Chipoka is a port which is well interfaced with both railway and road transport, so it will be easy when we bring our cargo there to transfer it to any other mode of transport,” said Jooma.

The Malawi Government 2019 Annual Economic Report released last week states that the 2019 water transport sub-sector has continued to perform below expectations for many years despite potential to contribute to economic growth.

The report says challenges contributing to poor performance of the sub-sector include climate change, inadequate personnel and funding and inappropriate law enforcement.

The $9.5 billion (about K7 trillion) National Transport Master Plan, to be implemented between 2017 and 2037, covers all transport subsectors.

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