By Benard Mhone:
Bad state of some roads in Rumphi are said to be affecting delivery of maize to some Agricultural Development and Marketing Cooperation (Admarc) depots in the Northern Region district.
Rumphi West Member of Parliament, Yona Mkandawire, said for instance, the 260-kilometre Rumphi to Chitipa M9 Road, which is under construction, is impassable for trucks to deliver maize to 11 depots, a development that is exposing people to hunger.
He made the remarks Thursday when Minister of Transport and Public Works, Ralph Jooma, toured the road construction project and Kamphenda Bridge which heavy rains damaged.
“There are many areas where trucks, ambulances and utility vehicles cannot pass during the rainy season. You know Admarc trucks carry heavy loads and when it is raining, it is very difficult for them to pass. We did our own initiative. We were using our smaller vehicles but out of the 11 depots, we have only helped to deliver maize to seven depots,” Mkandawire said.
He also called for speedy construction of Kamphenda Bridge to help learners from Bolero and Mwazisi access schools easily.
Jooma, while expressing satisfaction with the progress of the K5.1 billion road construction project, urged Roads Authority to find alternatives to the bad roads and construct a temporary bridge at Kamphenda.
“I came here for the second time to assure the people that the government is committed to complete the whole 260 kilometres section. Since some of the parts have been affected by the rains, we have to respond quickly so that the road remains passable,” Jooma said.
Roads Authority Chief Executive Officer, Emmanuel Matapa, said out of 15,451 kilometres of designated road network in the country, 71 percent, which is 11, 000 kilometres, is unpaved; hence get affected during rainy season.
Matapa said for Rumphi, they have assigned Alice Construction Company to open drainage, grade and spot gravelling to ease the slippery sections.