Chilima not impressed with quality of Malawian roads:  Challenges contractors to reduce costs of maintenance

Vice President Saulos Chilima has expressed disappointment with the quality of workmanship on the country’s roads, saying they are a drain to the nation as the government is compelled to carry out maintenance every now and then.

Chilima: Roads should not just be constructed for the sake of opening up places or connecting areas but should be roads that are built to highest standards and can serve the country for years.

Chilima, in his capacity as the Minister of Economic Planning and Development, is this week touring public project sites to appreciate the state of implementation and progress made against planned implementation.

During the tours, Chilima is expected to hold discussions with implementing entities to understand the challenges being encountered.

And speaking when he visited Msulira-Nkhotakota Road along the Nkhotakota Game Reserve in Nkhotakota, Chilima said contractors need to construct roads that would last long so that the government could save money on routine maintenance works.

“I don’t any sense in constructing a road that will last for a year because the government starts spending on its maintenance. Why can’t you construct thick and durable roads that will take 15 years before we start thinking about maintenance?” he asked.

The seemingly dissatisfied Chilima wanted to appreciate progress of the maintenance works on the 33 kilometre road that spans from Nkhotakota to Kasungu through the Nkhotakota Game Reserve.

He said time had come for the country to critically re-look at its road network to ensure it conforms to the basic standards.

The Principal Secretary (PS) in the Ministry of Transport and Public Works, Patrick Zimpita, said Nkhotakota-Msulira Road maintenance works delayed for a year because the government did not release the funding to Shire Construction Company, which was awarded the contract.

Zimpita disclosed that out of the K4.3 billion, the Treasury only released K800 million, making it difficult for the contract to start work.

“But the government has now committed to releasing the remaining funding so that work should start in earnest,” he said.

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Paul
Paul
7 months ago

Times when road construction takes a David Livingstone approach are long gone. There should be proper research in both geolocation, weather and of course road use. True a 30mm tarmac road that sees a stampede of (heavy and frequent) traffic won’t last a year. It also begs the question on traffic capacity on the roads. New roads become congested as old, pot-hole riddled alternative roads are abandoned in favour of the new or newly maintained roads. A way forward would be to ensure cyclical maintenance of all roads; that way capacity is spread out. Lastly, there should be a vigorous… Read more »

mzika
7 months ago

Big up our VP, sub standard in most of our projects is the order of a day in Malawi, Engineers don’t even care as long as they receive bribes from the contractor. Check in Malawi when it comes to roads maintenance , instead removing pot holes they create a bump . I tried to reason with a certain supervisor who was busy creating bumps on Zalewa roads to improve the way they do, Tonse government Please don’t continue doing the business as usual when it comes to Road maintenance on M1 roads. Check the contractor who is trying to repair… Read more »

No time to waste
No time to waste
7 months ago

It does not matter who is in government. There is nothing wrong asking for delivery of a good service. I agree with VP why should everything be substandard

Mngulungulu
Mngulungulu
7 months ago

He is talking to engineers not previous Government lets put politics aside as of now and decide on their fate in 2025

PelomaPepe
PelomaPepe
7 months ago

Travel along Zomba- Chingeni and by the time you pass Balaka you’ll appreciate why your talk talk and no action falls on deaf ears. Talk is cheap!

Mulopwana
7 months ago

But can you pay for the 15yr road if failing to pay contractor on this 40mm asphalt road. Pay and get quality. Talk is very good but finance and lets c our Engineers.

Manyalira Mhone
7 months ago

Let’s see a road project that will be done by your so called Tonse Alliance. Otherwise all you are doing now is to talk ill of past projects by a government where you were also vice president for a good 5 years.

National Ceo
National Ceo
7 months ago

Has the VP talked of the past government? He is talking to the engineers to do their work. We need good and strong roads

Kambewa ngozo
7 months ago
Reply to  National Ceo

Yee we need good roads not ukabwere mawa.
Infact we need motor ways from Blantyre to Lilongwe and continuing to MZUZU. The projects would be to reach chitipa

Jonas
Jonas
7 months ago

Good roads need investment…..bwana. Timachenji tomweti boma likulephela kulipila ndiye tikufuna tidye sandwich koma palibe cheese ndi mazira..sizimatheka kutelo…

Kashma
Kashma
7 months ago

I dont want to name them, those who did with Lilongwe crossroad to Mchinji are excellent and our locals are there to steal.

Chadzandiyani
Chadzandiyani
7 months ago
Reply to  Kashma

I second your views Kashma. Crossroads Lilongwe – Mchinji road is of high standards. its over 20years but still in good quality. Another good example is of Limbe-Thyolo road. Very smart road.

Jonas
Jonas
7 months ago
Reply to  Chadzandiyani

Limbe-Thyolo Road was designed for heavy traffic and the pavement structure if of high quality which reflects the initial investment that was ploughed in…We can do that with other roads, koma chavuta pa Malawi is the get rich quick syndrome. If we can recover all the stolen money, I believe we construct 50 Km per year of such good roads….Kudos

Kambewa ngozo
7 months ago
Reply to  Chadzandiyani

Yee that road of Limbe thyolo was built thawi ya Kamuzu. Just imagine the road is still there.
Iam very surprised why the government is continuing using Mota when everyone knows that they do poor job.

Fredrick chotto Mhango
Fredrick chotto Mhango
7 months ago

That’s my men,,
But talking is good, let’s go with the action plan

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