Malawi Congress Party (MCP) Member of Parliament (MP) for Nkhotakota South East Constituency Makowa Mwale has provided a boat to help people in terms of transport in his area.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with Malawi24, the MP said people of Mkumbaleza in Nkhotakota South East Constituency are trapped between Lake Malawi to the east and Mkumbaleza Swamp to the west and south.
Mwale told Malawi24 that the only way out on dry land is to the north and across the swamp of the M5 Lakeshore tarmac road is just 5Km away but to get there on dry land people have to go round covering a distance of 20 Kilometres.
“The population of Mkumbaleza is about 8,000 strong and there are two primary schools, namely Mkumbaleza and Khwaphu Primary Schools. The swamp has one narrow point where crossing by boat is easily done. The boat is needed because the swamp is deep and infested with crocodiles.
“Before I launched the new boat to replace the old one which went out of service last year, people had to pay K100 one way each, so the new launch has come as a big relief to the poor villagers,” Mwale told Malawi24.
According to Mwale, modalities of the free service are that when the boat is idle on one side of the river those wanting to cross from the other side have to wait for people to show up where the boat is.
“Sometimes nearby residents, particularly children, help, also for free. Alternatively the villagers as a community tie loose ropes from poles on both sides of the river, so those wanting to cross simply pull the boat using the rope and the same becomes the mode of moving the boat across when loaded.
“This brand new boat can serve us well for another three years but the ultimate solution is to construct a bridge at the point, something that depends on the political will of the government in power or the forthcomingness of a development partner. We have talked and written the Roads Authority over the past 10 years but to no avail although they took measurements in the year 2008,” he told Malawi24.