The Karonga Museum is now open after undergoing renovations for about five months since last September when it was closed.
The museum, which houses a collection of fossils and other artefacts, was constructed in 2004 but weather challenges in 2014 saw the structure’s roof, being damaged thereby threatening preservation of the collections.
In an interview on Monday, Karonga museum manager Winstone Mwagomba said the dinosaur-shaped roof made of onduline (bituminous corrugated roofing material) had outlived its lifespan.
“There were many perforations on the roof such that it was leaking. The situation was getting worse with every rainy season. The renovations will serve us well,” he said.
The centre first sounded an SOS in 2014 to raise K20 million for rehabilitation works. However, only K5 million was raised which was not enough to kick-start the project.
Mwagomba said the centre courted the European Union (EU) last year who pledged to replace the roof, fence the museum and expand its car park.
“The contractor has since replaced the waxy roofing material with iron sheets which we believe will last a lifetime unlike with the previous material which was not suited for the scorching weather of Karonga.
“The fence has also been constructed and we expect works on the car park to complete soon,” he said.
A Karonga residents Judith Mwalwimba was delighted that the museum was in full operation, saying the venue offers a convenient chilling point for residents and visitors.
Karonga Museum is the most popular tourist destination in the district.
It is home to the 150-million-year-old fossil Malawisaurus discovered in the south of Karonga. The facility displays an exhibit entitled ‘From Dinosaurs to Democracy’, which chronicles the area’s history. n