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Roads damage to cost K26.3 billion—report

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By Feston Malekezo:

HOPEFUL—Mussa

Malawi needs at least K26.3 billion ($36.1 million) to rehabilitate transport infrastructure which floods damaged in some Southern Region districts in March 2019.

A report, which Humanitarian Country Team (HCT) released on April 24 2019, has come up with the estimates after focusing on Post-Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA).

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HCT comprises officials from the Department of Disaster Management Affairs and National Roads Authority (NRA), among other departments.

The report says, in total, 1,841 kilometres of paved and unpaved road networks were completely damaged, alongside 68 culverts and drifts.

The report says 103 bridges were washed away but there was no damage reported on railway lines and ports.

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“Information from National Roads Authority detailing vehicle tonnage capacity on flood-affected roads has been circulated with logistics sector partners. During the meeting, the logistics sector reiterated that a noted challenge remains lack of information-sharing regarding partners’ pipeline,” the report reads in part.

But Minister of Information and Communications Technology, Henry Mussa, who is also the government’s spokesperson, said, despite that the amount is huge, the government’s mandate was to provide infrastructure development.

“This is a disaster and property has been destroyed and it has to be renovated. [The] government has to find the resources; it is extensive damage and we will require huge sums to make the renovations,” he said.

On March 8 2019, the government declared Malawi a state in disaster following persistent rains which led to floods, killing 60 people, injuring and displacing thousands.

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