Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Kondwani Nankhumwa on Sunday (22nd May 2016) presided over the signing of a financing agreement between Blantyre City Council and the Roads Fund Administration (RFA).
The K400 million financing agreement is part of road safety programme which the RFA is mandated to finance.
Under the project, the Council is expected to install street lights along the newly upgraded Masauko Chipembere Highway.
Nankhumwa said the signing of the agreement was a testimony of the role RFA was playing in developing the country’s road infrastructure.
Mayor Noel Chalamanda said the Council cannot successfully curb theft and vandalism if the City is in the dark.
“Improved street lighting is widely thought to be an effective means of preventing crime. Indeed, residents in crime-ridden neighborhoods often demand that the lighting be improved and the general expectation is that improved lighting does indeed reduce crime,” said Chalamanda.
RFA Chief Executive Officer Stewart Malata emphasized on the importance of the street lights outlining that they play a key role in creating a conducive and safe environment for the road users at night.
“We would like to appeal that there should be a sustained maintenance program for these street lights. If the council can put in place a proper and proactive maintenance programme for these street lights, the city will be assured of an efficient service,” said Malata.
Under the agreement, RFA is contributing 90 percent of the project amount (K360million) while the Council is contributing K40 million representing 10 percent of the total project cost.