Malawi needs $900 million to reconstruct structures damaged by Cyclone Freddy

By Chisomo Phiri

Secretary to Treasury, Betchani Tchereni says Malawi needs US$900 million which is 1,519,756,200,000.00 Malawi Kwacha to re-construct structures such as bridges,roads hospitals, schools and other facilities which were damaged by Cyclone Freddy in 2023.

Tchereni said this on Monday in Blantyre during the official opening of  the African Road Maintenance Funds
Association of Southern African Focal Group(ASAFG) conference.


“Cyclone Freddy gave us valuable lessons, among which is the need for durable infrastructure. Imagine the country  needs US$900 million to rework on bridges, roads and other facilities which were destroyed by the cyclone in 2023,” said Tchereni.

He therefore, called on the country’s engineers and structural planners to come up with high-quality weather-resistant infrastructure designs that can cope with adverse weather conditions.

Tchereni observed that government spends a lot of resources in reconstruction of infrastructures hit by natural disasters; hence the urgent need for Malawi to consider constructing durable and weather resistant infrastructures.

“Engineers and planners ought to be on the top of their game for the country to excel.
When we are reconstructing or doing maintenance, it means we are still investing the work we did previously and this is not progress,” said Tchereni.

He further reminded Malawians that the country needs innovations in the manner how it finances its projects, saying the country cannot continue relying on the same ways of raising funds for development.

On his part, Board Chairperson for Roads Fund Administration (RFA) in Malawi, Matthews Chikankheni, said the, conference was aimed at sharing best practices and experiences from different member countries.

Chikankheni said RFA has benefitted a lot from such conferences, citing some knowledge on how to run toll gates which was borrowed from countries like Zambia and Mozambique while others also keep on learning from Malawi when it comes to road fuel levy management, among others.

“RFA continues to make progress despite facing some challenges. We will shortly establish other two toll gates, Lilongwe-Mchinji and Lilongwe-Salima roads. All these are aimed at serving Malawians better,” Chikankheni said.

ASAFG Chairperson Nkekeletse Makara  called for serious investment in all the RFAs, saying despite other modes of transport, road transport is used by 90 percent of people in Africa and 80 percent of goods are also transported through roads in the same continent.

“We need to fulfill the African Union Agenda of ensuring connectivity and free trade but these can only happen when there are good roads and bridges networks in the African continent.

“I agree with the Secretary to the Treasury that reconstruction is expensive. Most importantly is to come up with durable infrastructure that can stand the test of time,” said Makara.

This year’s conference is the fourth to be held in Malawi, following other conferences which were held in years 2011, 2016 and 2019.

It is being held under the theme’The Impact of Legal Frameworks and Climate Change on the Sustainability of Road Funds unds’.