People of Usisya in Nkhata Bay have accused government of neglecting the area by failing to provide proper transport infrastructure.
Usisya Ward Councillor Hency Chigowo has complained of transportation hurdles due to poor road network and unreliable water vessels.
He bemoaned that the situation continues to impede development in the area and wondered why government is paying a blind eye to the problem which is affecting over 18,000 people in the area.
Usisya is a headland tucked between Nkhata Bay to the south and Rumphi to the North-eastern side largely surrounded by waters of Lake Malawi, at a distance of 60 Kilometres away from Mzuzu City and 105 kilometres from Nkhata Bay boma respectively.
“The general feeling is that we are being sidelined, concerns about the rugged road have been raised in various forums but to no avail. Sometimes people turn back midway through their journey to this part of Malawi because of the bad condition of the road,” Chigowo said.
He added: “I have on several occasions engaged the National Roads Authority personally and promises have been made but to my surprise, none has come to fruition.”
The councillor also appealed to authorities in the Ministry of Transport and Public Works to consider deploying contractors regularly to maintain the road to ensure that it is passable throughout the year.
During the rainy season, people of the area are completely cut off from other places because the muddy terrain gets impassable.
Commenting on the water transport, Chigowo said the intermittent schedule of the major Marine Vessel [MV] Illala has proved problematic, especially to businesspersons and public officers.
“We are appealing for provision of a smaller ship to be sailing between Nkhata Bay and Usisya all the way to Mlowe at least twice a week. This would ensure continued economic activities among the people,” he emphasised.
When contacted, Transport Minister Jappie Mhango and the ministry’s spokesperson James Chakwera could not pick our calls.
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