Roads Authority boss Engineer Matapa under fire, told to suspend Kenyatta Drive road expansion drive

By Dorica Mtenje:

The Malawi Parliamentary Conservation Caucus (MPCC) and Movement for Environmental Action (MEA) have given Malawi Environmental Protection Authority (Mepa) and the embattled Roads Authority boss Emmanuel Matapa five days to suspend the Kenyatta Drive road expansion drive to a six lanes or face unspecified action.

This followed revelations that the RA awarded a K20 billion contract to a Chinese Contractor, China Civils to construct a six lane highway in Lilongwe, before an environmental and social impact assessment (ESIA) was conducted.

Briefing reporters in Lilongwe on Tuesday, MPCC Chairperson Welani Chilenga slammed the RA for disregarding the law.

He called upon MEPA to take action by suspending the implementation of the project until ESIA and all other proper procedures are followed.

ESIA is a multidisciplinary approach, which focuses on the evaluation of the economic and social impact of the project
Meanwhile, activists have questioned the competence stature of Engineer Matapa after he decided to proceed with such a mega project without putting an important issue of ESIA into consideration.

On August 31, President Dr. Chakwera launched the project which will include an interchange at the current Kamuzu Central Hospital Roundabout and the improvement of Sharrar Road to a two-lane road in one direction and a single lane in the other direction.

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