By Duncan Mlanjira
The Roads Authority (RA) is warning motorists traveling on the Mzuzu-Karonga M1 Road to be cautious as they approach Mbuta, which is 125km from Mzuz and 100km from Karonga, as part of the road has been destroyed by a landslide.
A public notice by RA’s Chief Executive Officer, Emmanuel Matapa, said part of the mountain on which the road cuts along is sliding downwards into the road causing heaving and breaking of the road surface…due to saturation of water inside the mountain.
“Roads Authority engineers are already on site with construction contractors to clear debris that flowed onto the road as well as reduce hydrostatic pressure resulting from the water saturation.
“The Authority, therefore, wishes to inform the travelling public between Karonga and Mzuzu to drive cautiously as they approach the site where traffic is using one lane,” said Engineer Matapa.
The situation on ground was first shared on social media through a picture post that showed a commuter bus lying on the road’s side ditch after the driver lost control due to the loose gravel and broken tar on the road.
One commentator said this stretch of the road is a perennially problematic as it usually is affected with huge and dangerous potholes.
“I’ve driven past it many times and has always been in some state of disrepair,” said the commentator. “The sorrounding soil and rock base seem to be unstable.
“The spot has recently been worked over with a new tarmac surface but now its back to square one.”
Another suggested that RA and its stakeholder geologists should brainstorm and find a lasting solution to the surface along this stretch to avoid a serious disaster in the future.