As a gesture to entice vendors to start using the Flea market, Mzuzu City Council is rehabilitating roads around the facility including expansion of a road connecting the market to Mzilawaingwe residential area making it one of the busiest routes in the city.
Mzuzu Flea Market was opened for businesses nearly a year ago but vendors have been shunning the multi- million Kwacha facility on the basis that there was poor road network to and from the market.
Director of Engineering and Public Works at the council Frazer Bondwe told Malawi News Agency (Mana) in an interview Wednesday that the road rehabilitation works which also includes construction of three timber decked bridges and expansion of what used to be a mere foot path connecting Mzilawaingwe location and the market across Lunyangwa River is aimed improving accessibility to the market.
He said the road connecting Mzilawaingwe township to the market is very important as it will ease mobility of people coming to and from Mzilawaingwe, Chasefu, Chiputula, Katawa and Zolozolo townships by providing a alternative route for the residents who had to rely on the main road leading to the townships.
“As the council we usually estimate that by such a year the population of such a township will have grown by this number; so we develop a plan on what resources may be needed and one of our targets is how to ease congestion.
“This road is one of the busiest roads. Most people use the same road when going to the Mzuzu Stadium, but it was just very small and dangerous to use. After we finish rehabilitating it, we expect that even motorists can use it and ease the pressure on some city roads,” said Bondwe.
However, while people welcome the rehabilitation of the road, there are questions as to why in this time and age the city council has constructed of single lane bridges when number of road users increasing.
Responding, the Mzuzu City Director of Engineering was quick to say that the road rehabilitation component was part of the second phase of the market construction, adding there were no funds allocated specifically for road construction project.
“When we were coming up with the plan for the [Mzuzu] Flea market construction, there were two phases that were supposed to take place. The first one was just about the market construction and later clearing the place outside the market.
“As such we thought it wise that the best way to go about it is to make the temporal roads around the place using the soil that was being excavated during the market construction. So, I must emphasize that the road is just temporal,” he said.
However, Bondwe said with the improvement of access roads, the vendors will have no excuse by not relocating themselves to the market this time around, because the council has provided what the vendors were asking for.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :