Minister of Transport and Public Works Sidik Mia on Tuesday rushed to check on Chapananga Bridge across Mwanza River in Chikwawa after social media rumours were rife that heavy rains had washed it away.
However, the minister found that the bridge is intact, it has not been washed away contrary to social media rumours.
The bridge connects people of Chimwanjale and Chibisa wards in Senior Chief Chapananga and serves as a shortcut to Mwanza and Mozambique from Chikwawa.
The longest bridge in the country (180 metres) was constructed by Plem Construction Limited with funding from the Malawi Government in 2017.
Further the bridge has survived two rain falls and the Roads Authority is working to protect the bridge from persistent flooding and cyclones which could reduce its life span, contractors on the site have disclosed.
Engineers told the minister that a cyclone hit the bridge area in 2018 and as expected caused some movements of the banks and soil near the bridge, saying Bua Consultants and Roads Authority contracted the company to place 25,000 sandbags to protect the area from water hits.
He said the works are remedial works contracted only in September 2020 and are expected to be completed within next few days.
Mia pointed out that Chapananga bridge is of great importance both economically and socially.
After visiting the bridge, Mia also inspected the 47 kilometre Chikhwawa-Chapananga Road project which links the Lower Shire Valley, the hub of the Malawi’s sugar production, and Mwanza, the border district between Malawi and Mozambique.
The minister openly expressed dissatisfaction with the shoddy works on the road.
He asked the constructor to improve so that at the end, there should be a beautiful long-lasting road.
The the road project, people of Chikhwawa and Mwanza districts will experience better travel and be able to take their agriculture produce to Blantyre and other towns and in turn bring in goods from other areas, thereby improving their lives.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :