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Malawi’s rail operator CEAR lost K1.4 bn due to 2015 floods

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Malawi’s rail operator Central East African Railways (Cear) says the floods that hit the country early this year cost the company K1.4 billion.

Cear managing director, Hendry Chimwaza, revealed this during a media tour and press briefing which was aimed at showing some members of the media how the company operates.

Chimwaza said the floods affected Cear infrastructure in eight districts of the country and led to loss of about $2.1 million (about K1.4 billion) by the company.

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“The floods affected us so much. We were not able to [even] operate trains. For close to five months, there was zero productivity on our part which was frustrating. However, we managed to pick up in the last months and our clients understood,” said Chimwaza.

Going forward, Chimwaza disclosed that Cear will invest about K3 billion in the acquisition of six new locomotives and nine coaches to improve its capacity to handle cargo and help reduce existing traffic.

“This will in a great way improve our business, efficiency and delivery of service to our clients,” said Chimwaza.

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Cear currently has 12 locomotives and 12 coaches.

The company has already embarked on a project to rehabilitate the Nkaya-Limbe railway line as a cost about US$25 million. The project is set for completion by March 2016.

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