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Ntcheu-Neno-Mwanza Road delays worry communities

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Communities living along the Ntcheu-Tsangano- Mwanza-Neno Road have expressed worry over slow progress of construction.

Neno North lawmaker Thoko Tembo said due to the bad road, the people in his area this year struggled to access inputs under the Affordable Input Program (AIP).

Similar sentiments were expressed by Ntcheu West lawmaker Simeone Salambula, who said communities in his area were suffering a lot to access healthcare and markets.

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The Ntcheu-Tsangano-Neno- Mwanza Road was among the six road projects whose tenders were advertised on September 6, 2021 and whose bid documents were opened on November 2 2021.

Ironically, the Roads Authority offered contracts for the five projects except the Ntcheu-Tsangano-Neno- Mwanza Road.

During the bid opening on November 2, only two contractors, China Geo Construction and Mota Engil submitted their bids for the project.

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In a written response to our questionnaire, Roads Authority spokesperson Portia Kajanga said the road is being implemented in phases.

Kajanga said Phase I of the project (about 19km starting from Ntcheu) and Phase II of the project (about 20km from Ligowe towards Neno) is already under implementation.

“Phase III of the project to cover the remaining section is the one under procurement. The procurement process has not yet been concluded but the Roads Authority has concluded its part of the process.

“Currently, the procurement is undergoing the approval processes,” Kajanga said.

Head of Presidential Delivery Unit (PDU) Collen Zamba said the PDU was aware and following up on projects that were selected during the delivery lab, including the Ntcheu-Tsangano-Neno- Mwanza road.

“This is lot 3 of the Ntcheu- Tsangano-Mwanza road starting from Neno Boma to Kambilonjo and it is a 92 km stretch. After submission to PPDA, there were queries and Roads Authority has responded accordingly.

“Roads Authority is currently waiting for a no objection from PPDA. Lot 1 is from Biriwiri to Kambilonjo (21km) while lot 2 is from Ligowe to Neno Boma (20km),” Zamba said.

When asked on the progress of the tender, PPDA spokesperson Grace Thipha asked for more time.

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