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Washed away bridge worries Cape Maclear communities

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People living in Cape Maclear and Msaka villages in Traditional Authority Nankumba in Mangochi have expressed worry over the washing away of Kankhande Bridge in the area.

The bridge links the two villages to Mangochi Boma and Monkey Bay where they mostly access essential services such as hospitals and markets.

The people said since the bridge was washed away two weeks ago by heavy rains, travelling is proving costly and dangerous.

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One of people from Cape Maclear, Memory Nkhata, said she usually travels to Mangochi every week to buy merchandise for her grocery shop and she is incurring more costs owing to the non-availability of the bridge.

“When we are coming from Mangochi Boma we have to pass through Monkey Bay and this bridge links Monkey Bay and Cape Maclear but with the washing away of the bridge motorcycle owners which we hire to Cape Maclear have hiked up their fares as they are using longer routes to get through and this is eating into our profits,” she said.

Motorcycle operators initially used to charge K1,000 one way from Monkey Bay to Cape Maclear. Now they are charging K1,300.

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George Chiumya, a resident of Msaka, said since the bridge got washed away life has “turned upside down”.

A motor cycle operator said some people have improvised their own bridge and they charge K200 for anyone using it. The operators make this payment, hence the adjustment of their rates.

MP for Monkey Bay Constituency Ralph Jooma has promised to reconstruct the bridge.

He said culverts and stones and other necessary materials necessary to fix the bridge have already been sourced.

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