The Minister of Transport, Jacob Hara, has revealed that the government has dedicated K6 billion to the restoration of infrastructure damaged by tropical cyclone Freddy. Speaking to journalists on Tuesday, Hara provided an update on the progress of repair works, highlighting completed projects and ongoing efforts.
Hara confirmed that several sites have already received attention, with notable works completed in Mafufuni and Sululu along the M03 route. Reinstatement works have been successfully carried out at these locations, improving the state of the infrastructure. In Blantyre, progress is being made at Kabula on the M01 road, where the footing has been established, and precast units have been transported to the site.
The Minister also shared positive developments on the Makanjira road, where two Bailey bridges have been launched, and efforts are now focused on the construction of a third bridge. Although Hara did not specify the total budget required to complete all the necessary repairs, he did mention that access has been restored on Phalombe Bridge. Additionally, a contractor has commenced work on a section of the Chapananga road, although the pace of progress has been less than impressive at Namikalango.
While providing updates on the repair efforts, Hara acknowledged the concerns raised by King Norman Rudi, the Chairperson of the Nsanje and Chikwawa (NECK) Socio-Economic Development Trust. Rudi expressed disappointment over the delay in completing repair works on the Chapananga and east bank roads, as well as the bridges that were swept away at Misewu Folo. He urged the government to take swift action to prevent the affected communities from becoming isolated due to inaccessible roads.
The government remains committed to addressing the challenges brought about by cyclone damage and is allocating significant funds to expedite the restoration process. The repairs aim to enhance connectivity and ensure the safety and well-being of communities affected by the devastating cyclone. It is crucial for all stakeholders involved, including contractors and government agencies, to work together efficiently and transparently to meet the urgent infrastructure repair needs.
As progress continues, the Minister of Transport and relevant authorities will provide regular updates to keep the public informed about the ongoing repair works and their impact on restoring vital transportation links. The government recognizes the importance of resilient infrastructure in fostering economic growth, improving livelihoods, and ensuring the smooth functioning of daily life for the affected regions.