Traditional leaders in Thyolo have commended President Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera’s administration for demonstrating commitment to rehabilitate the Limbe-Sandama Railway Project.
The chiefs, led by Traditional Authority (T/A) Nanseta, said they are even more excited that the Chakwera’s administration is working hard to fast-track the completion of the project.
“The project is ideal for easy transportation and businesses in the area. It was the vision for the former leaders to ensure a railway network. Am so happy for the continuation of the project from Limbe to Nansadi, which I believe once completed it will help a lot of people here which would also enable the country to develop,” T/A Nanseta said.
The completion of the project, which commenced in 2017 and costs Malawians around K10.4 billion, will likely boost business and facilitate economic activities among the people of Thyolo and Blantyre.
Nanseta said once completed, the railway line will offer alternative transportation to people along the line, which have been dormant since 2015 due to heavy flooding that washed away part of it.
The Ministry of Transport and Public Works attributed the delays to rehabilitate the railways line on Covid-19 restrictions and recent cyclones as it was initially slated for May 2022.
The ministry’ spokesperson Maganizo Liwewe told Zodiak Online on Monday that due to Covid 19 restrictions, the contracted company, Central East African Railway (CEAR), downsized its workforce, before Cyclones affected access to the sites.
Liwewe has however said that the government is engaging (CEAR) on the new time frame for the completion of a 72 kilometres railway section.
“The project progress has been affected by two things. Initially, it was Covid-19 because they started before Covid-19 pandemic hit us. So, with Covid-19, government issued guidelines at construction sites and those guidelines were limitations that meant that the contractor had to reduce the number of workers which affected the implementation progress.
“But more recently, the flooding caused by this year’s rainfall, the two cyclones Ana and Gombe affected access to the project site and the contractor was not able to transfer materials to the site,” Liwewe said.
However, Liwewe is upbeat the project will be completed in time since the contractor has started deploying equipment.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :