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The Classified Road Network

The Malawi classified public road network is 15,451 Km, of which 4,312 Km (about 28%) are paved and 11,139 Km (72%) are unpaved and mostly of earth standard.

Road Class Paved (Km) Unpaved (Km) Total (Km)
Main 2,976 381 3,357
Secondary 513 2,612 3,125
Tertiary 44 4,077 4,121
District 8 3,492 3,500
Urban 771 577 1,348
Totals 4,312 11,139 15,451

                                Source: Roads Authority (2017)                 

The Paved Road Network Condition

The condition of the paved road network is such that 38% are in good condition, 40% are in fair condition and 22% are in poor condition.

Road Condition Paved (Km) Percentage
Good condition 1,639 38%
Fair condition 1,725 40%
Poor condition 948 22%
Totals 4,312 100%

                                                Source: Roads Authority (2014 Road Condition Survey)

Management of the Public Road Network

The management of the public road network is carried out by different institutions depending on the road class. The Roads Authority is responsible for the management of the trunk roads (i.e. the main, secondary and tertiary roads) and Local Authorities (i.e. City, Town, Municipal or District Councils) are responsible for the management of district and urban roads within their jurisdictions.

Road Class Total (Km) Responsibility
Main 3,357 Roads Authority
Secondary 3,125 Roads Authority
Tertiary 4,121 Roads Authority
District 3,500 Local Authorities
Urban 1,348 Local Authorities
Totals 15,451  

Due to capacity challenges under most Local Authorities, the management of district and unban roads is currently being supported by the Roads Authority.