Contractor upbeat on Nsanje railway project


Contractor of the 72-kilometre (km) rail line between Marka and Bangula in Nsanje District, China Railway Group 20 (CR20), says it is committed to operating within set timeframe if the government commits enough resources to increase machinery and workforce.

It has transpired that the contractor went on site in January 2023, despite being handed the project in May 2022.

On our visit to the site, we discovered that the construction work has begun with some 18km of the rail path cleared.


In an interview, CR20 Project Manager Guo Guo said first phase remains putting up a train station at Marka to be completed by June to allow for importation of strategic materials through Beira via the Mozambican line.

“The challenge we are facing now is the social relationship with the local communities in demolishing old structures and land acquisition but I think we will get the help from the government on this as well,” Guo said.

He added that due to cyclones that the country experienced early in 2022, there are some changes made to the designs.


Ministry of Transport and Public Works spokesperson Ganizani Liwewe said the project is a Design and Build Contract; as such, the contractor is required to come up with a design for the railway line as well as implement construction works once the design has been approved.

He said detailed designs were submitted in December 2022 along with the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment, which is a legal requirement before the commencement of any major construction works.

“The government is aware that there may be a need to review the project costs due to the devaluation of the Kwacha and the possible change of scope of works due to the effects of the two cyclones and any emerging requirements,” Liwewe said.

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