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The Indian construction company Afcons is preparing to begin work along the EN280 and EN281 highways in the central Mozambican province of Sofala between the administrative post of Tica and the town of Buzi, and between Guara-Guara and Nova Sofala.
The work covers a distance of 134 kilometres and the finance comes from the Indian government through a 149 million US dollar line of credit.
Daniel Machaie from the National Roads Administration (ANE), told the daily newspaper “Noticias” that Afcons is preparing the equipment and is opening a works yard. He explained the work will last 33 months and include constructing a 700-metre-long bridge over the Buzi River. He added that a ship laden with equipment is about to leave the Indian port of Bombay headed for Beira.
The highway is predominantly gravelled with some earth sections and the work will involve widening the road, covering it with asphalt, and creating proper drainage.
The project is important for the province as it will significantly contribute towards poverty alleviation through improving the freedom of movement of people and goods. It will also lead to a reduction in congestion along the country’s main north-south highway, the EN1. Currently, traffic must take the circuitous route using both the EN6 and EN1.
The direct route Tica/Buzi/Nova Sofala faces interruptions every year during the rainy season when the platform for the ferry across the Buzi River becomes submerged and the river runs too fast for the old barge. However, during the dry season, the emerging sandbanks require dredging which poses the threat of crocodile attacks to the workers clearing the channel.
The lack of a bridge over the Buzi River hinders trucks taking sugar cane from Manguena and Bandua to the sugar mill at Mafambisse in Dondo. Other goods affected by the transport problems are timber from Chissinguana, Estaquinha, Ampara, and Bandua, and rice from Cherimonio.Source: AIM