Minister of Transport and Public Works Jappie Mhango on Friday launched construction of a K46 million Mongo Bridge across Kasito River in Mzimba.
The bridge will ease travel problems for people in the remote locality under Inkosi Kampingo Sibande. The river usually floods during the rainy season, said the chief.
“Children could not go to school, pregnant women and patients could not access health services and farmers and businesspeople struggled to transport their goods, especially farm produce,” he explained.
Government has set aside K1.2 billion for construction of 19 bridges in rural areas according to the minister.
“It is the duty of government to ensure that people have good roads for easy access to schools, markets, clinics and other vital facilities. When I come here in the next four months, I want to open the bridge and not hear stories,” said Mhango.
Farmers in the hard-to-reach food basket said they struggle to transport their goods to Mzuzu.
Mzimba district commissioner Thomas Chirwa said poor roads and lack of bridges often cut off most communities when it rains heavily.
“It is dangerous crossing rivers during the rainy season. Roads are crucial. When you open up rural areas by constructing roads and bridges, they begin to develop,” he said. n