Luthando Mapepa Chipinge Correspondent
YOUTHS in Mutema (Chipinge West) have partnered the District Development Fund (DDF) to construct a 63 metres Nyunga bridge, which was damaged by Cyclone Eline 15 years ago. The bridge is expected to be commissioned next month.
Prior to its construction, many school children and villagers were made to risk their lives walking on the bed of the crocodile infested Nyunga River. The bridge plays a key role linking Mutema, Charuma, Musani, Nyamure and Manesa areas. It also links the community to the evergreen Mutema irrigation scheme, Mutema Secondary School and Birchenough Growth Point.
A representative of the youths Mr Samuel Masilo said the bridge would be ready for public use next month. Mr Masilo said the bridge would contribute immensely to economic development of the local community. He said once the bridge was completed, business linkages would also be restored.
“We are now about 73 percent complete, and at the rate at which work is going, we should be through next month. We are grateful to the support we are getting from DDF,” said Mr Masilo.
“The bridge has been lying idle since 2002 when it was destroyed by Cyclone Eline. Villagers had a torrid time to cross the river to transport their goods especially to Birchenough Growth Point.
“This had negative effect on the surrounding community as they had to travel long distances to sell their agricultural produce from Mutema irrigation scheme. The construction of the bridge will also come as a relief to school children as they will no longer miss lesson during rainy season. They cannot cross the river when it is flooded. The project is directly employing 20 youths who were recruited from the local community. Among them are two women,” he said.
Mr Zuvarimwe Marango, a local villager, welcomed the restoration of road network.
“The construction of the bridge will boost the lives of the local communities because our local roads are now linked to the main roads. We can now transport our perishable produce without hassles,” he said.