By Nation Reporter
THE construction of the K53.8 million Michael Chilufya Sata bridge at Chiawa across the Kafue River in Chirundu district by China Henan International Cooperation Group (CHICO), has restored economic activities in Chiawa chiefdom and the surrounding areas, Chirundu district council secretary Cosmas Chalusa has said.
According to Mr Chalusa, the construction of the bridge on the Kafue River in Chieftainess Chiawa’s area had ‘‘positively impacted’’ on economic activities in the area.
He explained that a number of prospective investors had been exploring the area following the construction of the bridge which he said was of ‘‘utmost importance’’.
Featuring on ZNBC programme yesterday, Mr Chalusa stated that Zambia’s leading beef producer, Zambeef, had established a big farm across the river. He also said the construction of the bridge had helped boost tourism in the Lower Zambezi, which he said was now attracting tourists in the area.
Mr Chalusa explained that people of Chiawa chiefdom used to find it hard to cross the river before the construction of the bridge as there was only one pontoon.
“The construction of the bridge at Chiawa has really changed the status of Chirundu district. Economic activities in the area have been boosted and we can now see a lot of tourists and investors in the Lower Zambezi.
‘‘Before the bridge, people used to find it hard to cross the river because there was only one pontoon which used to work from morning then park by 16:00 hrs,” Mr Chalusae said.
And a Chiawa resident Elizabeth Lushinga recalled how difficult and dangerous it was for them to cross what she said was a crocodile-infested river.
Ms Lushinga disclosed that a lot of people from her village had lost their lives as they tried to cross the river to get to the nearby Chirundu.
She recalled how a mother and her two children drowned in the river after the canoe they were in capsized.
Ms Lushinga explained that the construction of the bridge had eased their lives as they could now cross the river without any problems.
She said that it used to be hard for them to take women in labour to the hospital during the night because the only available pontoon used to operate up to 16 hours.
Meanwhile, Road Development Agency (RDA) communication and public relations director Loyce Saili disclosed during the same programme that the bridge, which she said was commissioned in 2014, was funded by the World Bank.
Ms Saili said that RDA was carrying out projects across the country to easy the daily activities of the people of Zambia.