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‘Rains should not be an excuse on roads projects’

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Jacob Hara

Minister of Transport and Public Works has said he will not entertain rain as an excuse from road contractors to delay their projects.

Minister Jacob Hara’s Public Relations Officer Kelvin Sato said the rains should not stop contractors from working on the roads, adding that Malawians are waiting for completion of some roads which started a long time back.

While admitting that high moisture content could affect tarmac laying, the minister said the contractors can be doing other works on the roads they are assigned to.

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He said this would help them meet deadlines.

“We are saying we do not expect the works to stall because of the rains. This has been a common excuse for the past years and we are saying we want serious works progressing. Rains do not fall every day in Malawi and road construction has many activities to be done. Let them work and progress,” Sato said.

Meanwhile, the Parliamentary Committee on Transport and Public Infrastructure has said it is set to assess the progress of construction works for major roads across the country.

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Vice chairperson Uchizi Mkandawire said the committee will meet the Roads Authority in February where, among others, they will be provided with a report on government resources used in the road construction works for the 2021/22 financial year.

Mkandawire said their committee takes time to monitor road construction progress because they meet quarterly to get reports from different departments involved in public infrastructure.

“The problem is that we do not work directly with contractors. We get reports from the Roads Authority and we will receive last year’s report this February. It is during the same meeting where we will scrutinise the budget for 2022/23,” Mkandawire said.

Some of the roads that have surpassed their deadlines in the Northern Region are Njakwa- Livingstonia in Rumphi and Mzimba-Kafukule-Mtwalo.

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