By Kenneth Chizotera Mkandawire.
MEC Stringer – Likoma
There are high hopes that the social-economic lives for people in Likoma and Chizumulu Islands are likely going to be elevated as they anticipate an implementation of the long awaited construction of a multibillion Jetty project which is a get way to the Economic boom in the district.
The development has come following the government’s effort through the Marine department under the Ministry of transport and trade to champion the implementation of the pivotal developmental agenda which the Islanders have been yearning for years.
Commenting on the matter on Sunday, the Chief Shipping Officer (CSO) in the Marine department Joseph Banda said the MK8.2 billion Jetty project has finally come to its fulfillment as the government has allocated part of the funding to mobilize resources for its implementation on the ground.
Banda said, “I am officially here on the Island to work on the commencement of the construction of the Jetty, we have liaised with the land owners whose land has been affected with the coming in of this noble cause and we have started compensating them to level matters.”
The government is said to have poured in about MK26 Million to be paid amongst 14 people who have released their land to pave way for the development and 7 of them have been duly assisted whilst the remaining half failed to collect their payments due to some reasons and are expected to do so in due course.
“We identified the land through the Council and the chiefs then we finally engaged the consultant to do the designs to actually locate the exact place where the Jetty will be constructed which has been done and we also engaged the Ministry of Lands in Mzuzu to do the assessment and evaluation of net worth for the compensation,” narrated Banda.
One of the beneficiaries on the compensation matters acting Traditional Authority (T/A) Mkumpha 3 confirmed of the development and said some of the concerned parties have really been assisted and things are progressing well on the ground.
“I can confirm that authorities have really come on the ground and as part of those who have been affected with this important initiative, I have received my benefits and it’s my wish that the project should keep progressing with this good pace,” said the acting T/A.
Some of the facilities which will be constructed on the land which has been identified on the foot of Mbuzi hill will among others include an access road from the Island to the Jetty site, waiting shelter, offices for the workers and the absolution site.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Transport and Public Works honorable Jappie Mhango is expected to sail from the mainland to Likoma Island on Wednesday 27th March, 2019 to preside over the laying of a foundation stone ceremony to mark the beginning of the project.