Thyolo, Users of Limbe-Thyolo-Nsanje Railway have to wait a little longer before they start using the locomotion as rehabilitation works for the railway earmarked to start this year are expected to take two years.
Recently, people complained that the breakdown of the Limbe-Luchenza-Makhanga Railway has caused prices of goods and commodities to rise due to high transportation costs.
In an interview with the Malawi News Agency (MANA) on Friday, Mayor for Luchenza Municipal Brighton Baluwa said the breakdown of the railway has also affected the revenue of the Municipal Council as well as causing a rise in prices of some goods such as fish.
“The Municipal is failing to realize the revenue we used to collect at the market once the train was operating. Many families were selling their goods at the station to feed their families as well as to earn a living,” he bemoaned.
Baluwa said some commodities that were coming from Nsanje such as fish are becoming scarce which is forcing the price of the commodities to rise and people finding it hard to access goods and services.
Group Village Head Nkhataombere of Tradition Authority (TA) Nsabwe said people from his area are failing to buy goods because of the rise in commodities.
He told MANA that they have to walk a distance of 40 kilometers to access cheaper goods at Thekerani Trading Centre.
“Of cause it is not as cheap as it was when the train used to pass in our area because traders could come all the way from Blantyre to sell their goods and go back using the same train and things were very cheap,” he said
According to CEAR Communications and Corporate Manager, Chisomo Mwamadi, the rehabilitation works of Limbe-Makhanga Railway is in the hands of Ministry of Public Works.
Ministry Transport spokesperson, James Chakwera said the rehabilitation works have not yet started because government was consulting the financers for immediate project repair works.
“Governments also plans to conduct a study under Malawi Flood Emergency Recovery Project for a building back better concept so that appropriate interventions are effected that should ensure the line withstands the floods element in future,” he said in a questionnaire response adding that the rehabilitation works will commence this year and will be completed in two years time.
The railway was heavily affected by floods that hit the country two years ago.
Source: Malawi News Agency – MANA