Dec 17, 2017 Last Updated 8:35 AM, Dec 15, 2017
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Mangochi-Makanjira road construction to start soon

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The Mangochi-Makanjira road in the southern region is expected to wear a new face shortly, following a 152 million dollar grant for its construction by the Chinese government.

The bad condition of the 125 kilometer road has for a long time attracted widespread concern from motorists and other road users.

“A team of experts from China will meet their Malawi counterparts in December to discuss technicalities of the 129.5 Km Mangochi – Makanjira Road estimated to cost US$152 million,” president Mutharika told the Malawi nation on October 21.

The construction of the road will open the Makanjira area which has the potential for tourism development, agricultural production and fishing industry.

The area is among the centers targeted for the Greenbelt development through irrigation farming. 

According to Mutharika the new Malawi-China compact will bankroll the upgrade of the Phombeya – Makanjira– Nkhotakota – Chatoloma 220 KV Power Line to the tune of US$190 million.

Most people complain of poor bridges, which make motorists prone to road accidents and a barrier to investment in the district.

The grant for the construction of the said projects follows the recent trip by President Mutharika to China where he presented at least 7 proposed projects for the Chinese government to fund.

In his speech made in May, 2014 President Mutharika’s brother, Bingu promised to construct the road.

“Last time I came here, you asked me to bring electricity, and I have done it, and I promise to construct a tarmac road here. 

“Construction of the road from Mangochi to Makanjira is one of my priorities, and I will also make it happen,” said the ex-president during a whistle stop campaign tour at Mpilipili Trading Centre in Makanjira, Mangochi. 

Besides the direct investments and loans, China has also provided several grants to Malawi.

Through the grants Malawi intends to construct the Blantyre District Hospital, Cancer Centre in Blantyre at Kameza to cost US$23 million and procurement of Malawi Police Service vehicles for its officers to cost US$2 million.

The second of the Chinese grant to Malawi will lead to the construction of a Technical Teacher Training College to the tune of US$5 million and building of Community Technical Colleges worth US$6 million.

It will also bankroll the promotion of value addition activities for the Ministry of Industry and Trade mounting totaling US$5 million.

Mutharika revealed that Beijing has granted Lilongwe funds for the procurement of equipment and exchange programs for Professors/Lecturers at the Malawi University of Science and Technology to cost US$2 million.

“This grant will also help in the procurement of office equipment and furniture for the Ministry of Industry and Trade amounting to US$1 million, support for technical services for the Bingu National Stadium constructed with the support of the Chinese Government amounting to US$1 million for and
construction of a new Ministry of Foreign Affairs Building amounting to US$3 million,” he said.

The Mutharika administration claims that the recent development pact dwarfs all Malawi’s previous development agreements adding that it is the first of its kind initiated by a sitting President.

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