Vice President Saulos Chilima has said the Nsanje In-land Port project is not completely abandoned, indicating that discussions are underway on the matter.
He said the main focus as at now was construction of railway lines.
Chilima said this when he inspected project sites in Nsanje District. These include Nsanje In-land Port, Nsanje Train Station, Bangula Railway Station and the East Bank Road.
He said although the Tonse Alliance-led administration was prioritising the construction of railway systems, this did not mean the in-land port initiative had been forsaken.
The Vice President added that the government would decide on stalled projects while infrastructure was being erected to promote socio-economic development.
“The good news is that we have decided to use some infrastructure for rail, which is a plus. Because the rail is moving at a much faster pace than the actual project there [in Nsanje District], let’s use the rail and use the existing infrastructure,
“Plus, whatever will come up as new infrastructure— houses warehouses, offices— we can leverage the fact that we already have a solid structure that is in place and we can use the same,” Chilima said.
The Southern African Development Community, through African Development Bank, in 2011 pumped $3.5 million [K2.5 billion] into a comprehensive feasibility study on the Shire-Zambezi Waterway Project which was initially projected to cut Malawi’s transportation of goods costs to and from the Indian Ocean ports by 40 percent.
In addition to the rehabilitation of the rail lines between Limbe in Blantyre and Marka in Nsanje District, the government is also constructing roads.
Nsanje District Commissioner Medson Matchaya said there was a need to expedite work on some projects.
“Concerning the road to Marka, for example, it will ease access to hospitals, schools, agriculture and trade services,” Matchaya said.
The Vice President also inspected the state of Manja Road in Blantyre, urging Blantyre City Council officials to ensure that the road is properly graded and tarred.