By BRIAN HATYOKA –
MORE than 700 households in Livingstone’s Mulala Village in Libuyu Ward have been cut off from the rest of the city following the collapse of Mulala Bridge on Maramba River.
The bridge, which was recently re-constructed by a local business executive only identified as Mr Himwaze, collapsed on Tuesday this week following torrential rains in the city.
Some residents have since resorted to crawling through the remains of the bridge to access the other side of the city.
Mulala Village Headman Mukela Wamulume said the village had about 700 households which had been affected.
Mr Wamulume said in an interview yesterday that more than 1,000 people might be affected because other people beyond his village also used the same bridge.
“We are asking for help from the Government because schools will be opening next week on Monday and we don’t know how pupils will go to their schools across.
“We also have people who work in places across the river and they need help. We don’t know what will happen if one person is sick in the night in Mulala Village or he or she wants to go to the market,” Mr Wamulume said.
He said most taxi drivers in the village had parked their vehicles following the collapse of the bridge which was the only link to the town centre and other parts of the tourist capital.
Livingstone District Commissioner Omar Munsanje, who inspected the bridge, said he would soon convene a stakeholders’ meeting to address the problem.
Mr Munsanje said a temporary arrangement would be made to enable the residents to cross the river while a new bridge would be constructed after the rainy season.
He said the Zambia Wildlife Authority would also be engaged to chart the way forward because Maramba River was infested with crocodiles.
“Our findings are that this bridge is very important because there are more than 700 households across.
“We have to find a temporary solution on how children will be going to school, markets and hospitals, among other places,” he said.
Libuyu Ward Councillor Reuben Kakwasha said there was need to quickly come up with an alternative route for the residents before the bridge was reconstructed.
Mr Kakwasha said people from Mulala, Libuyu and Kalaluka areas used the same bridge and, therefore, it was important for another route to be opened for them.