Malawi engineer’s umbrella body blame poor road infrastructure on budgetary constraints: Faults Mota Engil

Representatives of the Malawi Institute of Engineers (MIE) are attributing the country’s poor roads infrastructure to government’s lack of adequate financial support towards the construction budget.

MIE president Dr Matthews Mtumbuka was reacting to the concerns and outcry from the members of the general public over poor conditions of the newly constructed roads which have already started developing potholes and cracks within a short period of their construction.

“It’s true that in some cases the roads do not last that long, and you find that after a year or two potholes are developing, the roads are cracking in some cases but there are cases where some roads do last much longer, they reach as a far as ten years or even more than that in solid state,” said Mtumbuka.

He said although this would sometimes largely blamed on a construction company but in most cases the problem is lack of enough budget for road construction projects.

Mtumbuka; Not enough budgetary resources

Mtumbuka; Not enough budgetary resources

“One in 100 contractors may not do their job properly but many of them really do their best. The bigger cause of this problem is that our country is not that rich. So to do a proper road you need to design properly with multiple layers the way they do the foundation, initial layer, material they use and all that, so that the road should last long”.

Mtumbuka said there is a great need to do all the layers using quality materials and standard materials.

“But because Malawi has limited financial resources then sometime at designers’ stage engineers may say ‘look we still have to do this road and perhaps we need to a little bit compromise on quality’. So sometimes it’s really an issue of not having enough budgetary resources,” said Mtumbuka.

However, Mtumbuka said his organization is making sure holding discussion with government authorities on increasing budget allocations towards road construction so that the country should have longer lasting road network.

“We do know that the authorities are trying to allocate adequate resources as possible so that those heavily used roads have better quality such as with bigger roads like the highways, for example, roads between Blantyre and Zomba and also M1 road,” he said.

Meanwhile, MIE has faulted Mota Engil, for the the condition of the Zomba-Blantyre road between Njuli Quarry and Mbulumbuzi trading center, saying it is the result of the contractor’s negligence.

“What we saw at the site is a shock because we did not expect the contractor to let the situation on the road to go out of hand like it has done,” said Mtumbuka.

Mtumbuka has cautioned the Road Authority (RA) that continued delays to find a good detour would cause a road crisis.

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