Govt Taken to Task Over Failure to Construct Good Roads (allAfrica.com)

Malawians have expressed worry over the tendency by government to delay in maintaining good and durable roads in the country especially in the major cities of Blantyre and Lilongwe.
The blame is due to the government delays to maintain roads during the rainy season. This put the roads to a short life span and causing heavy traffic jams. The roads of Malawi are constructed with poor drainage pattern.
In an interview done by Malawi24, in the commercial city of Blantyre, road users cited the problem as due to lack of proper planning by the government. They said the situation will continue if the government does not construct strong roads. The problem will render to economic downfall and resource generation slow down.
“The roads authorities should learn to maintain the road during dry season. The roads are very weak. Why not to construct long lasting roads. Every year they keep maintaining the same roads. There must be something fishy happening at the authority’s office,” uttered one of the concerned citizens.
The roads of Malawi have been in a poor state for a decade. Many have wondered why the government fails to reconstruct new tar roads.
But reacting to the matter, Malawi Roads Authority (MRA) Public relations Officer Portia Kajanga told Malawi24, the roads Authority follows an Annual National Roads Program which covers all activities to be done the whole year and this includes activities from all departments.
“Planning department (which deals with road designs), Construction department (which deals with construction of new roads) and the Maintenance department which deals with maintenance of already existing roads. In Maintenance there are 4 different interventions that are done on the roads every year. These include, Phase one which is implemented in July/August at the beginning of the financial year. Contracts under this phase include rehabilitation of already tarmacked roads, pothole patching, line markings, replacement of road signs and other works. Phase two also called Routine Term Contracts which are implemented around September/October and comprise clearing of side drains for good drainage, unblocking of culverts as well as other protection works.”
“Phase three whose contracts are usually implemented around January and include grass cutting and the second Pothole patching exercise. Phase four which is usually implemented just after the rains in April and the works include Grading and Re-shaping of roads.” Kajanga said.
Kajanga added that since the establishment of the then National Roads Authority and later on the Roads Authority, there has been tremendous improvement in the management of the country’s road network infrastructure.
However, road infrastructure can only develop at the same pace with development of the country as a whole.
Meanwhile, she has assured Malawians that the problem will be eradicated in no mean time. The RA follows its 5 Year Business and Strategic Plan which outlines its main objectives including: Improvement of mobility and accessibility of all places. The Authority is always engaging with government and other stakeholders to overcome its challenges.
On Thursday, legislators asked government to construct roads in Nsanje leading to Mozambique and one from Goliati to Thunga, something which Minister of Transport, Francis Kasaila said is being looked upon by government.
Source: Business