Malawi government has increased funding for the City Roads Improvement programme with K8 billion earmarked for the second phase of the programme to run up to next year.
City roads upgrading project is aimed at improving road networking in the cities of Blantyre, Lilongwe, Mzuzu and the old capital city, Zomba.
In the 2015/16 financial year, government allocated K6 billion of the locally sourced funds to the project; and in the 2016/17 financial year the mount has increased to K8 billion, with government emphasizing on the need of improving all dirt roads across the country’s cities and district.
Speaking during the launch of the project’s second phase in Blantyre on Thursday, Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Kondwani Nankhumwa disclosed plans to turn the project into a national-wide initiative.
” The country is facing a serious good road network challenge coupled with a huge growing traffic. As sort we have a daunting task to maintain the existing roads and at the same time to increase the road network across the country,”explained Nankhumwa.
“It’s a long-term programme and will soon graduate into a national roads improvement programme. Our focus is to ensure that urban areas are free of dusty and bumpy roads. Its government’s belief that these upgraded roads will spur quick economic growth.”
Nankhumwa said was pleased that the first phase was not hampered by mismanagement of funds, expressing optimistic of experiencing the same with the current funding.
“The improvement of the city roads will help to ease traffic challenges but also ease accessibility. People spend hours on the road due to traffic and poor state of such roads; we hope through this programme things are going to change for better.”
Aside from upgrading city roads, the funds will also carter for improvement of street lights in the concerned cities.
Despite being hailed as good initiative, there has been concerned on the failure by the contractors in constructing drainage system along the newly upgraded roads, an observation which Blantyre City Council Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Dr. Alfred Chanza confirmed.
Said Chanza: “We had a challenge of resources, but we have agreed with the same contractors to start putting up drainage system in all already constructed roads and this will include the yet
The City Roads Improvement Programme is solely financed by government of Malawi. The funds are sourced locally.