Minister of Transport and Public Works Jappie Mhango last week opened Linthipe Bridge at Chingale in Zomba District.
The K48 million reinforced concrete bridge was constructed through a Roads Authority (RA) programme and connects Ndunde area and Mdalantenje in the district where it helps in boosting agricultural, socio-economic and health activities.
Speaking during the launch, Mhango said the bridge is one of the 97 bridges government is constructing nationwide.
“The bigger chunk of the country’s population lives in rural areas and they are the people that have been neglected over the years.
“People here need as much development as those in urban areas, and the ministry has taken every effort to build and connect them.
“Out cry for bridges remains huge. In weeks to come, we will advertise 30 other bridges projects that will take development where people live,” he said.
RA chief executive officer Emmanuel Matapa said since 2014 government has constructed 22 roads at K326 billion.
“We are targeting 1 000 kilometres in upgrading, rehabilitation and adding new surface on the worn roads to prolong their lifespan,” he said.
Zomba district commissioner Emmanuel Bambe hailed government for the development.
“Good road and bridge network is a catalyst for economic development. Government is planning to open this area starting with Chingale turn-off, Lirangwe -Zomba road. For that road to be effective, it has to be connected to other smaller feeder roads.
“This project will benefit a lot of people in this area most of them are farmers who rely on a better road network to reach markets and the bridge will also allow communities to access socio-economic and health facilities,” he said.