Jul 20, 2017 Last Updated 10:01 AM, Jul 20, 2017
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Malawians advised to embrace water transport

Though it is landlocked, Malawi also has 700 km of waterways on Lake Malawi and along the Shire River. Though it is landlocked, Malawi also has 700 km of waterways on Lake Malawi and along the Shire River.
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Malawi’s over-dependence on road transport is being blamed for the poor performance of the water transport sector.

The development has been confirmed by representatives of the Malawi Ports Company, which took over the management of all ports on Lake Malawi.

They have revealed that they are still struggling to make profitable business as Malawi business still depend on road transport.

Austin Msowoya who is the Company’s Ports Manager spoke when the Minister of Transport and Public Works, Francis Kasaila, toured the Chipoka port.

He told the Malawi News Agency (MANA) that the company is presenting its' business plan to prospective customers who could benefit if they use water transport to ferry goods from the northern to the southern part of the country such as coal.

Kasaila disclosed that if the lake was fully utilized, the government could save money that is spent to repair roads that are damaged as a result of over use by heavy cargo vehicles.

Records indicate that Malawi has 39 airports, 6 with paved runways and 33 with unpaved runways. It has 797 km of railways, all narrow-gauge and about 45% of its roads are paved.

Though it is landlocked, Malawi also has 700 km of waterways on Lake Malawi and along the Shire River.

Lake Malawi and Shire River (144 kilometres) provide the major waterways.

There is a railhead at the port of Chipoka, Salima district in central Malawi. Smaller ports exist at Monkey Bay, Nkhata Bay, Nkhotakota and Chilumba.

The MV Ilala connects Likoma Island with the mainland, as well as the Malawian and Mozambican sides of the lake.

In 2010, a port in Nsanje was opened to connect the country through the Shire and Zambezi rivers with the Indian Ocean.

As of 2015, the port is not operational due to unresolved contracts with Mozambique.

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