The Nacala transport corridor is located on the Great East Road (T4) in Zambia and the M12 in Malawi, connecting Zambia and Malawi to the port of Nacala in Mozambique. This vital trade route will now benefit from the ease of movement provided by the OSBP, as it has combined two stops of adjourning border controls into one.
The Roads Authority in Malawi and the Roads Development Agency in Zambia engaged SMEC to provide architectural, engineering design services, carry out timely and cost-effective project management and construction supervision for this project. It involved three two-storey buildings to be used as offices, constructed from concrete frame, small spans and two-way spanning slabs. A combination of energy sources has been utilised, including solar energy. The development also included 9km of circulation roads and approximately 40,000m2 of 250mm thick reinforced concrete for truck parking.
Originally appointed in October 2017, SMEC carried out architectural and landscape designs, structural, water, drainage, mechanical and electrical design, cost estimations and cost controls during construction, and roads and traffic flow designs around the facility. The team also undertook the economic study of the project, reviewing and updating the legal framework for the operationalization of the OSBP by the two countries and preparation of the tender documents for both the Zambian and Malawian sites. Once the designs were approved, SMEC was tasked with the responsibility of supervising construction and project managements from December 2018 to November 2021.
The Mwami/Mchinii One Stop Border Post was commissioned by the President of the Republic of Zambia, Mr. Hakainde Hichilema and the President of the Republic of Malawi, Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera on 7 December 2023.
The President spoke at the opening of the OSBP facilities, highlighting the benefits for all involved. “This One Stop Border Post is good news for travellers, for traders and for our economies. It is also good for investors for harmony and solidarity. After all, the bond that exists between Malawi and Zambia, is so deep and so rich that it transcends the artificial barriers that have been created to separate us.”
SMEC Regional Manager for South Africa, Stayford Phiri, said “This was a challenging but exciting project. It was clear that since the project involved two states, SMEC had to come up with innovative ways to ensure that the communication with both clients was smooth and decisions were done on time.”
Peter Kabalata, Roads and Highways Engineer reflected on the project “We met the expectations of both clients and stakeholders from both Zambia and Malawi even whilst material supply was impacted by COVID. The new border facility has met our goal of greatly improving efficiency of the border operations in comparison to the old facility.”