Malawi: Mzuzu-Nkhatabay road rehabilitation project


  • Reference: P-MW-DB0-012
  • Approval date: 13/03/2013
  • Start date: 13/02/2014
  • Appraisal Date: 30/07/2012
  • Status: OngoingOnGo
  • Implementing Agency: NATIONAL ROAD AUTHORITHY
  • Location:


The proposed project shall involve rehabilitation of the road between Mzuzu and Nkhata Bay (widening from current 4.7 m to 6.7 with 1.5 m shoulders, and 40mm surface asphalt concrete), improvement and enhancement of road safety, compensation and resettlement of project affected persons (PAPs), implementation of the Environmental and Social Management Plan (ESMP) and capacity building activities in the road sector as follows:

1.Civil works (UA19.2 million): This component shall involve rehabilitation of the Mzuzu-Nkhata Bay road (46km). 2.Consultancy services (UA2.07 million): This component shall involve the following sub-components:

(i) design review, pre-contract services, and supervision of the civil works (UA1.7 million); road safety activities (UA0.5 million) and

(iii) audit services (UA0.07 million); ESMP implementation and sensitization on HIV/AIDS; 3.Capacity building (UA0.35 million): The Roads Authority will carry out a capacity needs assessment and propose a programme of capacity building activities to be undertaken. 4.Compensation of PAPs (UA0.27 million).


The sector development objective is to support economic growth and to contribute to poverty reduction. Transportation costs are believed to constitute up to 56% of the cost of some goods in Malawi (ICSP, 2011 -2012). To reduce transportation costs, Malawi requires an efficient, safe and affordable transportation network to connect to productive areas within-country and to regional transport corridors. Rehabilitation of the proposed road shall contribute to the Transport Sector Investment Programme being pursued by the GoM in order to support economic activities.

Specific objectives of the project are:

(i) to rehabilitate the Mzuzu-Nkhata Bay Road (46km) and improve the road from poor condition to good condition;

(ii) reduce travel time between the towns of Mzuzu and Nkhata Bay;

(iii) improve safety features of the road for both motorized and non-motorized traffic including pedestrians along the road; and

(iv) provide access to social-economic centers. The rehabilitation of the road shall also provide temporary employment to households living within the project area.


The proposed project falls within the development objectives of the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy (MGDS). The MGDS has prioritized infrastructure, in particular transport infrastructure as being a key priority area needed for economic development. This is also in line with the priorities and objectives of the Bank's Interim Country Strategy Paper (2011 -2012) for Malawi, which among other key economic development drivers, has identified transport infrastructure as a pre-cursor to economic growth and poverty reduction. The GoM is laden with competing needs in other sectors, hence the need for the Bank to support the proposed project.


The following benefits are expected from the rehabilitation of the Mzuzu-Nkhata Bay road:

(i) reduced travel time between Mzuzu and Nkhata Bay and reduced vehicle operating costs (VOCs) for both local and transit vehicles, as the road is part of the Mtwara development corridor connecting Malawi, Zambia, Tanzania and Mozambique. It is also the main trunk road connecting the northern part of Malawi to the central and south parts of the country;

(iii) provide communities with access to social-economic centres and

(iv) road safety will be enhanced by incorporating safety features in the design (widening carriageway, providing 1.5 m shoulders, smoothening curves, reducing gradients, and traffic calming in built-up areas), and road safety education to the communities; and

(v) generation of temporary employment. It is anticipated that 400 jobs will be created, out of which 10% will be women. The road is also part of the many roads being rehabilitated under the GoM Road Sector Investment Program, development objective is to support economic growth and contribute to poverty reduction.

Key contacts

MAKASA Davies Bwalya - OITC2


Finance source Amount
ADFUAC 21,890,000
GovernmentUAC 1,056,000
TotalUAC 22,946,000