People of Usisya and surrounding areas in the northern region have faulted National Roads Authority (NRA) for not doing enough on the Mzuzu-Usisya Road as it is in dilapidated state.
Senior Chief M’bwana of the area expressed worry Saturday during an Area Development Committee (ADC) meeting saying people are paying more on transport as they are now using water transport to Nkhata Bay and connect by road to Mzuzu.
“People are digging deep into their pockets to access basic needs in Mzuzu via Nkhata Bay, which is very expensive to my people who are already poor,” he explained.
Senior Chief M’bwana bemoaned that as a result, business people are selling basic commodities like sugar and soap at exorbitant prices because of high transportation costs from Mzuzu.
ADC Chairperson, Ivor Jennings Nyirenda said public transport (matola) is becoming risky in Usisya as the road is dilapidated.
“People of Usisya are living on a ticking bomb, as those without enough money to travel via Nkhata Bay to Mzuzu are using matola plying on the dilapidated road which is risky and a death trap,” he pointed out.
He asked NRA to come in quickly and ensure that the road is graded before fatal road accidents occur.
NRA Public Relations Officer Portia Kajanga disputed the assertion that nothing was being done on the road.
She said the Roads Authority, in its annual road maintenance programmes, carries out routine maintenance works on the road to keep it passable at all times.
“The maintenance works include opening culverts, clearing drains, grading works and repairs to damaged sections on the road. To make it passable, we are currently grading,” Kajanga said.
“Currently, the Roads Authority is grading the road from Choma to Usisya. The works would also include rehabilitation of 6km stretch of the road.
“This contract is being executed by one of our local contractors, Mchinji Boys Construction Company who will also do drainage structures and other related works,” she added.
But Councillor of the area, Hency Dawira Chigowo said the contractor is slow.
“The road is in very bad state and the contactor is very slow and when he is on site, they grade for two days then for three weeks they don’t work,” the Councilor said.
Councillor Chigowo said at the pace the contractor is, the works are unlikely to finish before the onset of rain season.
“Currently, they are at Bula area but they are not working; the grader has a fault and it is now two weeks without works,” he added.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :