Minister Gwengwe assesses impact of Cyclone Freddy on Malawi’s roads

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The Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs Sosten Gwengwe on Tuesday took a tour of the roads in Chikwawa, Thyolo and Mulanje to appreciate the extent of the damage Tropical Cyclone Freddy has made.

Gwengwe also wanted to monitor the progress towards the rebuilding process.

Among others, the minister visited Namikalango bridge near Miseu Folo in Chikwawa along M1 Road, Nsuwazi Bridge along Thyolo, Thekerani- Muona Road and Thuchila Bridge along Robert Mugabe Highway.

“I personally visited the roads to assess the damage and monitor progress on the rebuilding and maintenance of the structures. We need to quickly connect people and restore peoples’ livelihood,” said Gwengwe.

Gwengwe (in reflector jacket) touring the damaged roads

The minister stated that the Chakwera administration has already started the rebuilding process with the available resources in order to quickly bring life to normalcy.

Speaking to journalists after the tour, Gwengwe said that due to the magnitude of the devastation Government has approached a number of development partners to provide technical and financial assistance in the rebuilding process.

Cyclone Freddy has cut off a number of roads and washed away bridges especially in the southern region.

In his remarks, Roads Authority Director of Maintenance Engineer Florence Ndenguma said currently her office is busy carrying out assessments of the damage in the 10 hardly hit districts.

“Once we complete the assessment we will soon submit the report to our financing agency the Roads Fund Administration and Government,” said Ndenguma.

Meanwhile, the Roads Authority has already mobilized contractors who have been engaged to quickly repair damaged roads and bridges and in some cases provide temporary connections as they look forward to providing a long-lasting solution.

The Roads Fund Administration (RFA), being the financing agency in conjunction with the government, is expected to provide some of the resources for the emergency work.

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