Nkhata Bay jetty sinks for the second time

Barely twelve months after passengers travelling on Lake Malawi struggled to board or off load goods at Nkhata Bay jetty due to its collapse last year, the jetty on Friday night sunk again due to strong north easterly winds that blew.

Part of the Nkhatabay jetty that has sunk - Photo by Wisdom Ngwira, Mana

Part of the Nkhatabay jetty that has sunk – Photo by Wisdom Ngwira, Mana

The jetty was constructed in 1957, and many observers argue that it has outlived its lifespan since it has never undergone serious renovations apart from last year only.

This time around, it is the pontoon (part which is used as a surface area or base to ferry people), which has completely sunk, after the strong chains that hold it broke due to the heavy winds.

Nkhata Bay district Port operations manager Francis Makalani said the winds completely tore apart the holding chains leading to its loosening and sunk.

“We had very strong north easterly winds on Thursday night and the winds tore apart the chains that help to hold and suspend the pontoon.

After the chains tore, the support or base (pontoon) started to sink because of the water which was entering it from the bottom side.

Currently the pontoon has completely sunk and it’s a worrisome situation especially considering that last year around the same period we also faced a similar scenario, ”said Makalani.

The port operations manager further said the situation is worrisome since its only less than twelve months when the jetty almost was went through a complete rehabilitation after collapsing.

He however said as of today(Saturday),officials are on the way from Lilongwe and Mangochi to strategies on the way forward since this is an issue that needs very urgent attention.

“As am talking to way, officials from Malawi Shipping Company, who are concessionaire of the port are coming here to assess and strategize on the best way forward as you know this is a very busy port, ”explained Makalani.

He further as a temporary measure, ships docking at the jetty will now be using either their motor boats or private boats to ferry passengers from a docking point to the shore.

“We again used the same last year despite it being costly since some people will be coughing out from their pockets to pay the private boats, ”explained Makalani.

Last year after the jetty collapsed, Makalani told Malawi News Agency that the jetty has really outlived its lifespan.

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13 thoughts on “Nkhata Bay jetty sinks for the second time”

  1. Nzoona Ndithu says:

    This is not the making of Poly or other engineers, not even an engineering problem at all. This is something that should have been done away with several decades ago and replaced with something better. The attempt to repair the thing last year was futile. Let us call upon those responsible to improve the jetty without any further delays.

  2. Chilungamo Chimawawa says:

    The problems in Malawi originate from Bad leaders that we have. They are greedy to my best of my knowledge. Why can’t the government bring development to places like N/Bay. in other countries governments put much emphasis on developing lake shore or seacoast areas like these. bringing in structures such as 5 star hotels and industries. but our leaders are so shameful to malawians. Unlike our mindset changes Malawi will continue to be poor.

  3. Donnie Chimtengo says:

    Chalu chamala Yehova come to our mercy we Tongas must wake up I have photos of that jetty and am crying when I see that jetty now. A m seeing it in Nyasa now from Yokohama,Japan but first reaction was God have mercy .Am in ministry of Transport but not an engineer however we need Mota Engil and not these comrades from poly so to say.Things are falling apart .Ndaliya mumtima .

  4. George Wanangwa says:

    Y Malawi unalozedwa ndi ndani imagin 1958 shame kwambiri

  5. Bob Chiswe says:

    We do not have engineers in Malawi. We have drunkards

  6. Bob Chiswe says:

    In addition to blaming the Ministry of Transport for this mishap, I also blame mechanical and structural Engineers from Likoma and Chizumulu for not taking the lead into such things that affect them directly. They are busy drinking beer and sometimes kachasu. You are big fools

  7. KUKHALA says:


  8. bristol says:

    I urge the govt to act quickly on the problem at Nkhata-Bay Jetty.

  9. Jonjo Shelvey says:

    1957 When we were still under colonial master Britain. Awa ada.

  10. ken says:

    That thing is very old no need of maintenance! Break it and build new one osangoba ndalama…….

  11. Kwidu says:

    Engineers with papers without the guts. imprison them!!! apusika wanthu.

  12. salador saan says:

    poor poly engineers. you can’t even repair what kamuzu left for us. ntchito kumadandaula kuti ma contract amapita ku mota engil but just look at your shoddy work. so sad…

  13. Amalinyero Okwiya says:

    I suppose the chains basically are to put the pontoon (floating platform) in place. If the chains broke the pontoon would have simply drifted away. My guess is that the pontoon was breached (holed) in several compartments possibly due to old age and lack of meaningful maintenance and hence took in loads of water. A breach in one or two compartments wouldn’t have brought it down. Malawi Ports Company should explain this. The nation also lost the gantry crane at Chilumba and the portuguese Maria’s didn’t offer any explanation. Tikakugwilirana ntchito ife kuti mukamiza zonsenzi mabulutu olima miseu inu?

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