Government has embarked on phase III of replacing rural makeshift bridges with concrete bridges as one of improving road networks and accessibility in transforming rural areas.
Speaking during the ground breaking ceremony for the construction of Kambi bridge and four others in Nkhatabay, Minister of Transport and Public Works, Jappie Mhango said the K1.8 billion initiative aims at constructing 27 concrete bridges and reshaping rural earth roads across the country.
“We want to take development to rural people as one way of curbing migration of people to urban areas. Eighty per cent of people live in rural areas and they need to have easy access to health, education, trade and marketing services among others, hence the initiative,” he said.
Mhango said the initiative is a brain child of the President Prof. Peter Mutharika in ensuring that rural masses have easy access to services within their reach.
Nkhatabay District Commissioner (DC), Rodney Simwaka said the introduction of concrete bridges in the district would make all roads passable all year round saying some road could not be used especially rainy seasons due to lack of permanent bridges.
“Communities used to be cut off especially during rainy seasons as the roads were impassable due to lack of permanent bridges,” he noted.
Senior Chief Fukamapiri hailed government for its commitment in fostering development in rural areas.