Residents of Sonda on the outskirts of Mzuzu City have hailed government for constructing strategic fuel reserves in the area saying they have stimulated more development projects.
Speaking Thursday during a community awareness meeting organised by National Oil Company of Malawi (NOCMA) on how members of the community can prevent fuel related accidents, Group Village Headman Unyolo Lungu said the area now has a tarmac road.
“We are so happy with what government has done here. The tarmac road has eased mobility challenges. This area used to be very bushy but now it has opened up to a town because of these fuel reserves.
“Apart from that, we feel protected and secured with the availability of security personnel that are guarding this place,” Lungu said.
He said he will work closely with the security personnel to ensure that his subjects do not vandalise property at the fuel reserves.
NOCMA Communications Officer Telephorus Chigwenembe said the company has engaged security agencies both private and Malawi Police Service to ensure maximum security around the facilities across the country.
Chigwenembe said that it is interesting to note that since these fuel reserves started functioning, there has never been a report of fire accidents, a situation he described as commendable.
However, he said NOCMA will continue conducting awareness campaigns so that such accidents should never happen in the country.
Malawi government, with a loan from Exim Bank of India, constructed three Strategic Fuel Reserves in Blantyre, Lilongwe and Mzuzu to fulfil NOCMA’s mandate of ensuring availability of fuel in the country.
The fuel storage facilities have a combined capacity of 60 million litres, representing more than 60 days of fuel cover for the country.
Currently, the estimated national daily fuel consumption is about 1 million litres.
President Arthur Peter Mutharika officially commissioned the Strategic Fuel Reserves on 6th December, 2017 in Lilongwe.