Government plans to construct a K231 million bridge across Changwina River in Senior Chief Kilupula in Karonga District following its destruction by heavy rains two years ago.
Minister of Transport and Public Infrastructure Ralph Jooma said this in an interview yesterday.
He said his ministry appreciates mobility challenges people in the area face in the absence of the bridge.
“The contractor, LD Civil Engineering, is already at the site to commence construction works,” said the minister.
Community members from the area have since expressed excitement over the project.
In a separate interview, one of the rice farmers Wakisa Mwakitalu, commended government for the project, saying transporters fail to reach their rice fields.
“A lot of people depend on rice cultivation to generate income. It costs much to transport rice using bicycle taxis to the other side of the river,” he said.
Another community member, Cecelia Mbale, said school children were missing classes during the rainy season.
“Besides, patients find it hard to cross to the other side to access health services,” she said.
Karonga North legislator Mungasulwa Mwambande confirmed that the contractor came for assessment and was hopeful that the project will start soon.
He said: “I am pleased that government has finally sourced funds for the bridge. My next role is to lobby for rehabilitation of the 15-kilometre (km) Ighembe-Kitwika and 10-km Songwe-Ngana roads.
“These roads are key to the socio-economic growth of these two areas and the district.”