Maputo — Chokwe (Mozambique), 18 Sep (AIM) - The Mozambican Minister of Public Works, Joao Machatine, on Friday laid the foundation stone for the rehabilitation of three important roads in the southern province of Gaza, with a combined length of 122 kilometres, which will boost agricultural marketing and tourism.
The roads run from Macia to Bilene (33.5 kilometres), Macia to Chokwe (64 kilometres), and Chokwe to Macarretane (23 kilometres). Budgeted at 2.6 billion meticais (about 41 million US dollars, at the current exchange rate), the costs will be paid by the Road Network of Mozambique (REVIMO) and the jobs should be concluded by October 2022.
Unlike the great majority of Mozambican roads, these will all be toll roads. The road between Macie and Chokwe will have two toll gates, while the Macia-Bilene and Chokwe-Macarretane roads will have one toll gate each.
The jobs will create 750 jobs, and will be undertaken by a Chinese contractor in partnership with Mozambican subcontractors. The surface of the roads will be improved, the width of each lane will be expanded to 3.5 metres, and new drainage ditches will be installed.
Addressing the ceremony, Machatine stressed that the roads will galvanise agricultural activity and remove the barriers farmers have faced in bringing their crops to market.
"According to data from the authorities, Chokwe district has an annual agricultural potential estimated at 500,000 tonnes out of which only 60 per cent is marketed, while the rest is lost, because of poor road conditions," he said.
Machatine was confident that, after completion of the road rehabilitation, the communities will see a growth in income from the sale of their agricultural surplus.
Tourist activity is also expected to grow significantly, as the road between Macia and the resort of Bilene beach will offer greater safety.