Uncertainty over nsanje inland port, president mutharika now says construction would resume if malawi government gets approval from Mozambique.
Since its inception in 2008, the project—and one of the flagship projects in the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) 2014 manifesto now the president will have to wait for Mozambique authorization.
Malawi rushed to embark on the Nsanje Inland Port, a project which has stalled as a result and its future is in doubt.
President Peter Mutharika has said construction of Nsanje World Inland Port would resume if his government gets an approval from Mozambique.
Mutharika said this when he visited various development projects in Nsanje and Chikwawa Districts.
Touring development projects in nsanje and chikwawa today mutharika said funds for Nsanje Inland Port are readily available and that people from Nsanje should wait for the smooth discussion currently underway.
“I am aware many people are still asking as how far is the Nsanje Inland Project. My answer is we are still discussing with our friends in Mozambique. Once they agree with us, the construction will start,” President Mutharika pointed out.
2017 DPP spokesperson and Minister of Transport then Francis Kasaila, downplayed the development, saying the project is on course despite, setbacks.
Said Kasaila: “We have not seen the draft MGDS III but suffice to say the project is ongoing. That draft can change shape as consultations are still ongoing. The current status is that the issue is being handled by the tripartite heads of States of Malawi, Zambia and Mozambique. They met once and they plan to meet again soon to discuss the feasibility study report which Mozambique demanded.”
The Nsanje Port is a swampy fishing ground for locals. It is a neglected site depicting an abandoned dockyard with the Shire River choked by weeds, a disused boat is mostly vessel in sight.
In June 2016, the Shire River on the section of the port had completely dried up as if to vindicate Mozambique which questioned the viability of the project which argued that water levels in both Shire and Zambezi rivers were going down.
The drying of the port area was a result of the dwindling of water inflows in the Shire River and Lake Malawi due to the El Nino weather episode experienced in the 2015/16 rainy season which has also affected power generation in the country.
Chairperson for Parliamentary Committee on Transport and Public Infrastructure then Victor Mbewe, who in October 2016 led a delegation to visit the site, admitted in a telephone interview that the project had encountered huge funding challenges, among other challenges.
Said Mbewe: “From what we understand, it is not that the government is unwilling to pursue the project, but it requires mammoth financial investment and donors have not been willing to support it.
Unless the government identifies a donor, the situation for the project will continue to go from bad to worse. No wonder some are calling it a white elephant. With our current economic position, we cannot afford to fund it alone.
Subscribe to AIH whatsapp forum for more News Updates +265998376011