By Martin Chiwanda and Blackson Mkupatira 14/03/ 2014
President Dr. Joyce Banda has lashed out at previous regimes for failing to construct a bridge at Mtayamoyo where the road that connects Fatima and Bangula was washed away by flooding water from Shire River 17 years ago.
President Banda spoke at Bangula Thursday when she toured the site where a temporary bridge has been mounted.
She said it is unfortunate that people in authority did not bother to erect even a temporary bridge yet people were losing their lives at the site.
“I was touched after learning that a lot of people have been drowning here due to the absence of the bridge. The situation forced me to issue a directive to the Ministry of Transport and Public Works to mount a bailey bridge to address the problem.
“However, I wonder the problem has been there for 17 years yet there were people in authority who could act but they did not,” said President Banda.
She further disclosed that her government will construct a permanent bridge at the site.
“Let me assure you that the one that has been constructed is just there on temporary basis. The government is currently talking to the Japanese government to consider funding the project,” she revealed.
Since 1997 after the road that connects Fatima and Bangula was cut off at Chiromo, people have been digging deep into their pockets to cross to Bangula or Fatima through boats paying K400 to and from.
This was not only affecting the business community but also farmers who have been struggling to transport their commodities.
Mtayamoyo is located at a distance of about 400 metres from Bangula Trading Centre in Nsanje.