Roads Fund Administration (RFA) says it is disappointed with the slow pace on the MK34.5 billion Chitipa-Ilomba Road construction.
Chairperson for RFA, Mathews Chikankheni, said this on Thursday in Chitipa after RFA Board of Directors toured the 31-kilometre stretch, which is being constructed with funding from the government.
Chikankheni noted that half of the construction period, which is nine months, has elapsed but, on average, only six percent of work has been done.
“We are happy that we hired local contractors to do the construction works, but we are a bit disappointed with the slow pace of the construction works. We were expecting to see 50 percent of the works completed by now,” Chikankheni said.
He then asked the contractors to speed up the works this dry season, so that they catch up with the duration of the project.
“We have funding for this road project but the problem is that these contractors are slow. We release funding after the consultant certifies and issues a certificate of work done,” he said.
Roads Authority Regional Manager for the north, Engineer Charles Mtawali, was equally disappointed, saying contractors needed to beef up equipment and personnel to catch up with time.
“We only have two and half months to do the work before the rainy season starts. This is the time to utilise and catch up with the duration given.
“We are trying to develop local contractors and empower them but this is what they can give. It doesn’t augur well. They can do better,” he said.
The road is divided into three lots, with the first given to Victory Vision, Sitbec and Goka joint venture while second lot is given to Hema and Deca Construction Companies and third lot to Tahit and Chibvundiko Construction Companies.
The Chitipa-Ilomba Road,which passes through Chitipa North, takes cross-border traders to Tunduma, Tanzania.