Covid-19 delays Lilongwe Highway project supported by Japan

The fielding of missions from Japan because of COVID-19 restrictions continue to delay the turning into a dual carriage way of the M1 road from Lumbadzi past Mchinji roundabout to Bunda roundabout in the Capital Lilongwe.

Mphonda:Malawi Government responsibilities are to clear the road corridor for the construction works. 

The Japanese Government through Jica is to carry out the project from Mchinji roundabout to Bunda while the other section from Lumbadzi to Mchinji round-about would be carried out by The People’s Republic of China.

“The Government of Japan through JICA is proud to be associated with infrastructure development in Malawi and it is our sincere hope that this infrastructure development will translate into social-economic development in the country,” says Jica Chief Representative in Malawi, Yoshikazu Wada.

Meanwhile the Exchange of Note and Grant Agreement have been signed by both the Malawi Government and JICA regarding the 2021 to 2026 project.

“We are now in the process of identifying a contractor and the procurement process is underway,” Wada says.

The JPY3,099,000,000 project is a grant to Malawi but the government will be expected to provide in kind assistance like securing land for the project and counterpart personnel during its implementation.

Director of Roads in the Ministry of Transport and Public Works, Kelvin Ngwali Mphonda confirmed the Japanese Government will provide resources for the construction works and the consultant services of the iconic Capital City Project.

“Malawi Government responsibilities are to clear the road corridor for the construction works. Clearing the road corridor involves removing utility services and compensating the people that will be affected by the road expansion. The Government will also be required to provide land for the contractor’s camp site and provide counterpart technical staff,” Mphonda says.

While Jica is actively involved in various infrastructure development projects in Malawi including the upgrading of Kamuzu International Airport, it has completed major civil works at Tedzani Hydro Power Station.

Currently the installation of electro-mechanical equipment is underway.

“The project cost is about US$50 million. The Government of Malawi through EGENCO provided cement and rebars. According to the contract agreement, the project will be completed by October 2021 but there is a possibility that it can be completed earlier than scheduled,” says Jica’s Chief Representative.

Discussions are currently at an advanced stage for the Government of Japan to assist the Government of Malawi in refurbishing Kanengo and Old Town power substations in Lilongwe.

In February 2016, the Masauko Chipembere Highway in the country’s commercial city of Blantyre was officially opened. The highway was rehabilitated and expanded under the Japanese grant aid assistance dubbed “the Project for Improvement of Blantyre City Roads”.

The highway provides a link between two trading districts of Limbe and Blantyre which are 8 kilometres apart.

JICA has been a strong partner of Malawi Government in the transport sector with notable contribution such as the construction of the Kamuzu International Airport in the early 1980s, and construction of a number of bridges across the country, among others.


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3 years ago

Is limbe a district?

3 years ago

I heard about mindset change and self-sufficiency. But this sounds like (no) business as usual. I despair. We really have to start living within our means.

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