Tuesday, March 8, 2011


Forty seven years have passed since independence and Usisya still doesn't have a good all-weather road. Members of parliament have come and gone with promises which have never come to fruition. Should we put the blame on our hard working MPs or is it the government which doesn't want to uplift the people of Usisya?

Transport to Usisya is either by road or lake. The mode of transport on the road which is by truck is risky and very dangerous. If one was to use this mode of transport for the first time, he/she would be mistaken to think these were refugees freeing from Darfur or some other trouble zone. Vibwayila (luggage) and merchandise mixed with people. I encountered one such truck as the minibus I was traveling in careered up the hills from Usisya, I did not like the site. Desperate people of Usisya still prefer to travel in such unsafe style because in this fast world of today, who wants to travel on the damn slow MV Ilala? Trucks are fast and convenient that the risk factors are ignored. I hear the truck business is quite lucrative.

MV Ilala is slow, inconvenient and sometimes doesn't keep her schedule. If you are going to Mzuzu it does not only make your journey long via Nkhata-Bay, it adds an extra cost. If you are unfortunate like I was, when I wanted to go on sunday by Ilala and come back the next day Monday, and it failed to appear, you incur extra costs on food and accommodation. I couldn't get to Usisya by road either because it was during the rainy season and the road was slippery. Personally I still prefer the Ilala because it is safe and fun, though getting on and off the boats is unpleasant especially when the lake is rough.

People of Usisya are we going to stand and watch as we suffer year after year without making our voice heard? Our friends in Ntchisi have roads, and Chitipa will have its road completed soon. Not only do we need electricity and a cellular network, we thank the present government for that, we also need to travel safely and comfortably on an Axa bus to Mzuzu and come back the same day; and fast on a new ferry to Nkhata-bay in less than hour.

That is the question!

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