In Malawi, work is in progress on a new road which will provide an important link between the Shire highlands and the fertile Shire river valley in the country's southern region.
In Malawi, work is in progress on a new road which will provide an important link between the Shire highlands and the fertile Shire river valley in the country's southern region. It is one of four major road projects involving a total investment of 35.5 million kwachas (about 41 million US dollars).
SYNOPSIS: The road is being built between Blantyre, Malawi's commercial centre, and Chikwawa, 25 miles (39 Kilometres) to the south.
The spectacular highway drops nearly 3,000 feet (about 1,000 metres) from Blantyre. When completed, it will connect with the 52 mile (80 kilometre) Chikwawa-Bangula road, which was opened by President Kamuzu Banda on June 22.
The road is being financed by a loan from the European Development Fund.
It is being constructed by the British company, Dowsett, who hope to finish it by early next year. Malawi is a land-locked country, with Tanzania, Mozambique and Zambia as its neighbours, and roads are important for its export-import trade.
When the country became independent in July, 1964 - after the break-up of the 10-year-old Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland - it barely had 200 miles (320 kilometres) of tarred road. Most of it was single strip, wide enough for only one car at a time. Since then, enormous progress has been made in developing Malawi's national road network. Today, there are more than 1,000 miles (1,600 kilometres) of two-lane bituminised road.
The government is anxious to develop new roads, as well as to improve the existing ones. Under its national rural development programme, extensive improvements are being carried out to existing rural feeder roads. And there are plans for creating rural and betterment units in every region, under regional engineers of the Ministry of Works and Supplies.