Minister of Transport and Public Works, Jappie Mhango expressed Democratic Progressive Party( DPP) administration’s commitment towards connecting rural areas of the country to urban centres through construction of new and modern roads.
Commissioning the newly constructed Nasundu 1 Bridge in Blantyre on Wednesday, the Minister said road network remains vital for socio-economic growth of a country.
Mhango said good road network enables people to transport their agricultural produce, access social amenities and do a number of business as a result improves people’s social status and contributes to national economic growth.
“If you have been following my movements recently, you will appreciate that I have been up and running inaugurating newly constructed roads, bridges and also roads that have just been rehabilitated.
This is a demonstration of government’s seriousness with road infrastructure development. What we would like as government is to make all hard to reach areas accessible and enable all Malawians access social services like health facilities and schools,” he pointed out.
Mhango disclosed that government would remove all timber-deck bridges and replace them with reinforced concrete deck bridges to avoid disruption of movement in the event that a particular bridge has been washed away.
He observed that the bridge would help to shore up businesses since people would have easy access to urban markets.
The Minister pointed out that the bridge would reduce deaths that were common as people, due to desperation, were washed away each time they tried to cross the river when flooded.
“We have had reports of death from the area as people tried to cross the river especially during rainy season. However, that is a thing of the past now. Besides, school going children will from now on happily attend classes without any anxieties,” he emphasized.
The K29.7 million bridge has been constructed with funds from Roads Authority through its fuel levy package.
District Commissioner (DC) for Blantyre, Bennett Nkasala said completion of the bridge was a great relief to people of Chadzunda as well as to Blantyre District Council.
He noted that the bridge would provide farmers access to agricultural markets and improved connectivity.
The DC added that, “We are very excited as a district council because the Minister of Transport has commissioned the much-awaited bridge project.”
Nkasala assured the communities that the council would guard against any acts of vandalism and warned that the council would deal sternly with anyone found on the wrong side of the law.
Member of Parliament for Blantyre South West, Kennedy Kachingwe expressed gratitude to government for bailing out people of Chadzunda and surrounding villages from a life time problem.
He said the bridge had brought permanent relief to the area and improves on the road network in the area.
“This is a dream come true, this was one of the many difficult places to cross over during rainy season. We have lost many lives and from now, onwards that will not happen again. I must commend government for responding to the needs of my constituents,” Kachingwe hoped.
The construction of the Bridge started on June 16, 2017and Alayika Construction was contracted to carry out the building works.