The construction of the long neglected 80km Njakwa-Livingstonia-Chitimba Road which will be pre-financed by Mota-Engil to the tune of $80 million will be constructed in three years, Minister of Transport and Public Works Francis Kasaila has said.
Kasaila said government has entered into a public-private partnership which will see Mota-Engil pay the full costs to be recouped over an agreed period of time.
The road will open up the CCAP’s historic mission station at Khondowe Plateau, a stunning tourist attraction which is home to Livingstonia University, Gordon Memorial Hospital and legendary Scottish missionary Robert Laws’ iconic stone house.
“The project will be funded by a contractor whose capacity to deliver a project of this magnitude is beyond a doubt,” said Kasaila.
According to Mota-Engil Public Relations Manager Thomas Chafunya the company “will invest the money and government will pay back at a profit rate within an agreed period.”
President Peter Mutharika kick-started construction of the road after unveiling a groundbreaking ceremony at Mhuju, Rumphi on Saturday.
The road splits the Henga Valley—an agricultural hinterland for tobacco, maize and coffee—on the way to Livingstonia and descends the treacherously mountainous terrain through Golodi Road, a narrow winding road built in 1906 by the early missionaries. It also leads to Kaziwiziwi Coal Mine on Phoka Hills.
Member of Parliament for Rumphi North, Jappie Mhango commended the President for the landmark project.
“For many years, previous administrations had just been singing about this project, but they did not do anything tangible at the end of the day. But in just ten months you had been in government, you have come here with this pleasant surprise,” said Mhango.
Besides Njakwa-Livingstonia- Chitimba Road, government also expressed commitment to implement other road projects like Jenda-Edingeni, Rumphi-Nyika and Mzimba-Eswazini-Kafukule-Ezondweni roads in Northern Region.