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Malawi Government launches district roads rehabilitation project

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Malawi Government has instructed district councils to submit details of roads that need to be paved following the launch of the District Roads Rehabilitation Project, a project similar to what government is implementing in the country’s cities.

Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Kondwani Nankhumwa, made the remarks on Wednesday when he presided over the ground breaking ceremony of a 23-kilometre road from Balaka to Bilira road, which will cost K5.4 billion.

Nankhumwa said government has moved away from the traditional approach of funding district filer roads through the Roads Authority in order to give local councils a chance to decide roads which need to be upgraded based on their social and economic importance to the district.

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In 1998 Malawi adopted decentralisation policy which, according to Nankhumwa, recognises local councils as roads authority; hence the district roads rehabilitation project is one of the means of giving power to the people to choose their own developmental needs.

“The money is available. What we want is for all the local councils to give us details of the roads they need to be upgraded. We want to make Malawi accessible so that we can facilitate economic growth even in rural areas,” Nankhumwa said.

With this arrangement, district councils will be responsible for identifying contractors. And the roads will be supervised by local consulting engineers based at the councils and cities in a move which government says is aimed at reducing costs for constructing roads.

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“As government we spent a lot of money in hiring consulting engineers. Now we want to make use of the available resources within the local government ministry so that we can save money,” Nankhumwa said,

Traditional Authority Sawali thanked government for constructing the road which passes through his area, saying the road will facilitate easy mobility of farm produce for his subjects

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