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Government backtracks on East Bank Road

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Government has backtracked on its promise to construct a tarmac road at East Bank in Nsanje, saying it currently does not have money for the project.

Various officials have been promising the people in the area that funds are available for the construction of the road.

But Commissioner for Disaster Management, Ben Botolo, who toured the area told the people that available resources are so minimal that they will only be used to maintain bridges damaged by floods.

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“Let me tell you the truth: there is no money to construct a tarmac road here. The only funds that I know of are those which have been provided by the World Bank and they are so minimal that they will only be used to maintain bridges and other structures which were damaged by the floods,” he said.

According to Botolo, the funds available will also go towards feasibility studies on the viability of constructing an embankment where the Ruo River lost course.

But this did not go down well with people from the area of Traditional Authority Mlolo in the district.

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Some of them including the Area Development Committee Chairperson, Hastings Tembo, and some councillors claimed different government officials have at different times assured them of the availability of funds for the construction of a tarmac road.

According to Tembo, the road is important as its construction could ease transport challenges people in the area face.

“But at least we now know the truth that we are not in their plans for the time being,” he said.

Meanwhile, Nsanje North Member of Parliament, Esther Mcheka-Chilenje, said she is still lobbying for the construction of the road.

“As a Member of Parliament, I can only lobby on my people’s behalf but there was an understanding that the available resources would cater for the construction of the road up to gravel level,” she said.

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