‘Shoddy construction projects costly’


Malawi continues to lose billions of Kwacha each year due to substandard infrastructure projects, a situation experts have decried as retrogressive.

The observation was made on Friday in Lilongwe during a National Construction Industry Council of Malawi (NCIC) panel discussion on quality of infrastructure in Malawi.

Panellists singled out corruption during bidding and tendering processes, lack of capacity among some contractors and consultants and a quest for cheap labour, among the contributing factors to poor workmanship in the construction industry.


Malawi Institute of Architects President Cathy Sani also lamented political interference in public projects as one of the key challenges.

“We should leave technocrats to do what they do best. There is a need to understand that technical issues have to be left to specialists.

“If the technocrats were left to manage infrastructure prospects properly in the way we were trained to, actually, the political government of the day would be proud of the output because we would do it well,” Sani said.


NCIC Chief Executive Officer Gerald Khonje said redoing the substandard projects has proven to be costly for the government as it erodes the limited available resources.

“If we have poor infrastructure, because of various reasons, the cost is very high because the reconstruction itself costs more. But even if it costs less, it will add to the costs that are already incurred,” Khonje said.

Director of Buildings Sam Ngoma said the government is crafting policy frameworks and regulations aimed at bringing sanity to the industry.

He said with the regulations, the Buildings Department will oversee all projects.

Malawi Institute of Engineers President Arthur Wengawenga called for concerted efforts towards adherence to standards.

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