PP to build inland port at Liwonde, invest in passenger trains – Manifesto

The governing People’s Party (PP) has pledged in its electoral manifesto to build an inland port at Liwonde in the eastern region district of Machinga.

In the manifesto, the first to be launched in Malawi ahead of May 20 elections, the PP says despite the country being landlocked the party recognises that Malawi is blessed with large water bodies that provide “untapped opportunities” for an efficient water transport system that could also boost the tourism potential.

Malawi has meanwhile a “white elephant” in Nsanje World Inland Port , a brainchild of former president the late Bingu wa Mutharika who said if put to use, the port would reduce Malawi’s transportation costs by over 40 percent.

President Joyce Banda showing the  PP manifesto

President Joyce Banda showing the PP manifesto

Experts say making large vessels navigable on the Shire-Zambezi Waterway would be a complex exercise.

The PP has promised to “speed up feasibility studies on Shire-Zambezi waterway to facilitate decision on the future of the Nsanje Inland port.”

The Malawi Government secured funding from the African Development Bank for a feasibility study on the navigability of the Shire-Zambezi Waterway.

Titled ‘Transforming Malawi together, it is possible’ the PP under its infrastructure category,  also promised to rehabilitate the Liwonde-Chipoka- Lilongwe-Mchinji rail line.

They will also build and complete the Sena rail line amd repair the Chilomo rail and road bridge.

PP also promises to “revive and develop” the Mtwara corridor.

The Joyce Banda led party also says it will invest in rail passenger and cargo services linking the countries major cities and in intra city commuter trains, “particularly those connecting major airports and city transport hubs as a way of decongesting the city road networks.”

PP also promises that it shall design a road map toward a “ comprehensive” martitime transport system that will enhance efficiency and effectiveness.

The party pledges to introduce a “state of the art new passenger ship” on Lake Malawi to ease water transport problems faced by those ling along the lakeshore.

It will also “revamp and construct” new supporting maritime infrastructure for maritime sector along Lake Malawi including Likoma Port, Chilumba Port, Nkhata-Bay port, Ngala Port and Chipoka Port.

Speaking during an interactive dinner with southern region based private sector companies on Friday, 21st March, 2014 at Sanjika Palace in Blantyre. President Banda said: “In our manifesto, we have left legacy of the past and our focus is on how tomorrow should be developed.”

She added that her government is the only one which has put 2014 to 2019 as years to create an appropriate growth of the private sector.

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