Govt Allocates K6 billion Towards Repairs to Tropical Cyclone Freddy Damaged Structures

Hara Hara - file photo

Minister of Transport, Jacob Hara, has disclosed that the government has allocated K6 billion towards repairs to some Tropical Cyclone Freddy damaged roads and bridges.

Hara told Zodiak on Tuesday that a few sites have been attended to and that works have been completed citing, “Mafufuni and Sululu on M03, where reinstatement works were completed.

He added, “Kabula in Blantyre on the M01, works are in progress, footing was done, and precast units have been ferried to site. On the Makanjira road, two Bailey bridges were launched, and now we are working on the third one.

“Access was restored way back on Phalombe Bridge. A contractor has also commenced works on part of the Chapananga road before the Chapananga Bridge,” explained Hara.

He however did not disclose as to how much is required to have all the repair works done.

The Minister of Transport further told Zodiak Online, “We have tendered out works for the reinstatement of Chapananga bridge and some culverts on the Mangochi Monkey Bay Road under 2023/2024 advert, and tender opening is around 15 June 2023.

He however acknowledged slow pace on some projects.

"We have a contractor at Namikalango, though the pace has not been good. Bailey parts and boulders are already on site,” explained Hara.

Meanwhile Nsanje and Chikwawa (NECK) Socio-Economic Development Trust has criticized the government over alleged delay to complete repair works in the Shire Valley.

NECK Trust Chairperson, King Norman Rudi, says as NECK they are concerned with the delay claiming the situation has impacted negatively on livelihoods.  

“Tropical Cyclone Freddy which devastated the Shire Valley left some roads and also washed away some bridges. We are cognizant of the fact that efforts are being made to repair the roads and bridges but the process is slow to the disadvantage of the citizenry.

“We call upon the government to speed up the processes so that people are not incommunicado," lamented Rudi.

He cited “Chapananga and east bank roads but also Misewu folo where bridges were swept away, this needs action now, government should consider taking action now in repairing the bridges and roads.”

According to records, Tropical Cyclone Freddy which mostly hit the Southern region damaged at least 44 roads of which 16 are major roads. The cyclone claimed over 1,000 lives.

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