People in Phalombe East Constituency recently tasked their Member of Parliament, Robert Mwina, to rehabilitate Nyambwa Bridge or face wide protests, saying the condition of the bridge is affecting people’s access to health services in the area.
The communities have made the threat in collaboration with Nazombe Radio Listening Club.
The constituents are worried that since the breakage of the timber deck bridge some months ago, Gogo Nazombe Health Centre, which serves the community, has not been able to receive medicines as required or ferry referred patients to the Boma as the bridge connects the two sides.
According to Village Head Nkuthuwa of Traditional Authority (T/A) Nazombe, the bridge has further become a death trap to the extent that eight people have lost their lives trying to use it in despair this year alone.
“We have tried to talk to our MP about this for a very long time, but he has not been forthcoming, and now we’re fed up.
“As such, we are asking him to facilitate construction of the concrete deck bridge and this construction must start before December 31 or else we’ll match to the District Commissioner’s office and hold vigils come January 4, 2021,” threatened the village head.
Evidently, construction materials such as sand and concrete blocks meant for construction of toilets at the Health Centre are being kept at the Village Headman’s compound because they cannot be ferried across the river to the health facility.
In an interview, MP Mwina said the community was simply being overzealous as plans to construct the bridge before December 31 were already there.
He said it was in his plans to remove all the timber deck bridges in the constituency and replace them with concrete deck ones.
The legislator said Nyambwa Bridge was earmarked for construction within the few remaining days of this year.
“We are going to start constructing the bridge before the said date, not because they have threatened us but because we already had it in our plans.
“We have already started collecting construction materials as I speak,” said Mwina, adding that the grouping erred in claiming that he had been avoiding to meet them.
Nazombe Radio Listening Club is championing the facilitation of Universal Health Coverage in the area with technical support from Oxfam through the Development Communications Trust (DCT).Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :