Rehabilitation of Mzuzu-NkhataBay Road (M5)

    17 September 2015

The road from Mzuzu to Nkhata-Bay is a 46km long. It connects the Mzuzu City – biggest city in the North to the Nkhata-Bay on the shores of Lake Malawi. The road was built in the early seventies and had bitumen however the road has since leaved its life span and has since deteriorated making travelling along the road a big challenge.

The road is however, very important in the economy of Malawi. Apart from affording easy mobility and accessibility to the beautiful Lake Malawi, thereby facilitating tourism, easy movement of people and goods locally, the road is a conduit for movement of goods for import and export purposes through Nkhata-Bay. The road is a section of the Mtwara corridor. The objective of the corridor is to  facilitate movement of goods that have arrived  at or are being sent through Mtwara Port.

The Mtwara Corridor runs from the Indian Port of Mtwara in Tanzania. It stretches along several towns in Tanzania and connects to Mbamba Bay on the Eastern

Mtwara Corridor

                                Mtwara Corridor

of Lake Malawi. From Mbamba Bay the corridor moves across Lake Malawi to NkhataBay on the Western side of Lake Malawi.  From NkhataBay  it passes through dry land to Mzuzu. It is this road section of the corridor that the Malawi Government has ear marked for rehabilitation for now.

 The road will not only facilitate movement of goods from areas in the North and other parts of Malawi but also into the neighboring countries like Zambia.

 Because it provides a north-south link from Tanzania to Malawi and through Malawi to other SADC countries, the road is considered to be of strategic importance in terms of trade.  The road was therefore earmarked for rehabilitation  as part of the SADC Regional Trunk Road Network Development under the Mtwara Transport Development Corridor.

The project will be financed though a lone from the African Development Bank (AfDB)

The actual works on the road will involve re-construction and widening of the road to 6.7m wide carriageway and 1.5m sealed shoulders on either side of the road.

At the moment all project preparations are at an advanced stage. It is anticipated that the project will commence in November 2015.