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Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi on Thursday inaugurated National Highway EN14 between Lichinga, capital of the northern province of Niassa, and Litunde, on the road to the neighbouring province of Cabo Delgado.
This is a 66 kilometre stretch of road. The rehabilitation work cost 54.6 million US dollars, co-financed by the Mozambican government and by the African Development Bank (AfDB).
In the first phase of the work, costing 33.1 million dollars, the contractor was the Italian company CMC-Africa Austral. But the government rescinded the contract with CMC in 2016, and the second phase of the work was awarded to the China Henan International Cooperation Group (CHICO).
CHICO began the job in September 2017, and was supposed to complete it in 12 months. However, heavy rains in early 2018 forced a two month extension to November 2018.
The road was not only improved along its entire 66 kilometre length, but it was also widened from four to ten metres, with the goal of improving traffic safety and reducing travel times. As part of this job, five bridges were built over the Lugenda, Uriate, Nicoloze, Lureco and Messunguesse rivers.
“I am here today with the task of delivering the road that was promised in 2015”, Nyusi told the ceremony. “The road is here, but for us the work will continue”.
The Lichinga-Litunde stretch is part of a planned triangle of roads between Lichinga, and the municipalities of Cuamba and Marrupa. Nyusi reiterated the determination of the government to close this triangle.
He urged the local people to treat the road well, noting that even before Thursday’s inauguration, some of the traffic signs and the reflectors in the road, important for road safety, had been stolen.
“We must be vigilant and we should denounce all those who are against the development of Niassa, so that they can be held responsible for their actions”, he said.
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