The eigh-month long project will cost the Government of Malawi, through Roads Authority (RA) about MK917million.
Upon completion, the current dusty road is expected to wear a low-volume-seal-standard tarmac.
Speaking during the ground breaking ceremony, the Minister said the road will among others stimulate economic activities in the district.
“As we are all aware, Thyolo district is also a centre agri-based economic activity, so the construction of this road to tarmac will help spur such activities, by among others lessen the challenges both local and large scale farmers were facing in transporting agicultural goods and services to the markets,” said Phiri.
The Minister said government through the Ministry of Local Government has plans to upgrade all important roads across the country so that people should have better access to social services.
He said: “The importance of good road network cannot be over emphasized, so the President has tasked my Ministry to spearhead this and make sure that in the next five years we should have no dusty road pointing to a clinic, school or any other places where people get social services and we will do that.
Phiri further advised the contractor to employ local people in the construction of the road as one way of reducing unemployment levels in the country.
Meanwhile, RA Chairperson Brown Mpinganjira has assured the community that the construction works will be done within the agreed duration with the contractor.
Mpinganjira said the authority will keep on monitoring the progress of the road from time to time to ensure efficiency.
Said Mpinganjira: “Previously, we used to fight with a lot of contractors when it comes to completion of projects. But now we have signed a memorandum of understanding with all our contractors that once they fail to meet the deadline we terminate the contract and give it to another contractor, we hope this will help to speed up the construction. The same applies to strong and quality work, if they do not come up with quality work, we will end the construction works prematurely.”
During the ground breaking ceremony local farmers were seen over the moon knowing that up on completion they will have easy mobility when it comes to transportation of their farm produce to markets.
Esnart Habu, a mother of four, could not hide her happiness. “We have been facing challenges when transporting banana or sugarcane from Khonjeni to Thyolo Boma, especially in rainy season.” She said.
Habu narrated how a three tone lorry full of bananas she hired got stuck in mud when it rained for two weeks. “That was the end of my business, because I invested all my capital in that, many thanks to our Member of Parliament because very soon this will be history”. Narrated Habu.
The upgrade is under the Malawi Second Agriculture Sector Wide Approach Support Project Two.