By Solister Mogha – Mana.
Minister of Transport and Public Works, Ralph Jooma on Thursday said construction of bridges in local communities could spur development of the country and improve people’s lives.
He made the remarks in Zaone in the area of Traditional Authority (TA) Mbidza when he inaugurated construction of Mtchilamiro concrete deck bridge in Thondwe Constituency, Zomba.
The Minister said road network was a crucial element for the development of any country.
Jooma said good road network allows people access essential services and farmers are able to transport their agricultural products to markets and further, increasing growth in business.
“As a Ministry, we believe in having a good and improved road network. This is so because people’s mobility no longer becomes a problem and as such, they are able to engage in various businesses that in the end contribute to the country’s improved economy and their well-being,” he said.
The Minister said it was the wish of his Ministry to ensure that people in every corner of the country are connected through a good road network.
Jooma then described the Mtchilamiro Bridge a big relief to people of Zaone and Nasawa areas could not cross over the bridge during rainy season.
“Once this bridge is completed we expect people from surrounding areas to start accessing services such as hospital, Admarc and the young ones be able to go to school.
“We expect to finish constructing this bridge within 90 days and we have invested about K36 million, sourced from fuel levy,” he said.
Jooma said the Ministry would do everything possible to ensure that areas that don’t have or their bridges are washed away have new and concrete deck bridges.
Member of Parliament (MP) for Zomba Thondwe, Rosemey Gadama commended government for approving construction of the bridge which she said has been a concern of people in the area for the past twenty years.
She said the bridge would enhance mobility of people in accessing various amenities and most importantly, improve businesses.
“People of this area have had difficulties in crossing this river for years and it was my prayer that one day, this bridge should be constructed. I am so thankful to government for considering people of Thondwe more especially of Zaone and Nasawa,” Gadama pointed out.
Group Village Headman Mtchilamiro expressed gratitude to government for the bridge.
He said people would now have easy access to areas between the two places.
Zaone area which is located 24 kilometres from Thondwe main market.