By Fostina Mkandawire MANA

Minister of Transport and Public Works, Jacob Hara, has revealed that government has signed a fuel-supply deal with one of the Arab Nations to fast-track construction of road projects in the country.

Hara revealed the development on Friday when he, along with the Roads Authority (RA), toured construction works of the 60- kilometre M5 Road from Kaphatenga in Salima to Benga in Nkhotakota.

According to the minister, the deal was facilitated by the State President, Lazarus Chakwera, through his ministry. He also said the fuel deal will help prevent stalling of projects due to fuel shortage in the country.

Though he could not disclose the cost of the fuel and the quantity that will be secured, Hara assured contractors that fuel will not be an issue because the commodity will be readily available for their use.

The minister warned constructors (China Railway 20) against making shortcuts during the construction, advising them to give Malawians a good road that will last long.

According to the Roads Authority, the project is being undertaken by China Railway 20 (CR20) with a budget of approximately K37 billion to be completed in two years.

In his remarks, Senior Chief Khombedza of Salima, called on communities in the district to maintain professional and ethical relationship with the road constructor to ensure that the project is completed within the set timeframe with high standards and without any complications between the two parties.

The Roads Authority (RA) anticipates completion of the 60-km road by November, 2024, and once completed the road is expected to boost economic development activities of lakeshore road users.

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