By Innocent Nyondo
Zomba Central Parliamentarian Bester Awali has launched a project which will see the rehabilitation of Mpondabwino Bridge and the construction of the road that connects Mpondabwino and St Mary’s.
According to business operators at the Mpondabwino market, calls to rehabilitate the bridge started long ago and the launch of the project is of high significance and is timely. The bridge, which currently can only allow one vehicle to pass at a time, poses challenges to users as they have to wait a long time to get their turn to cross.
Commenting on the project, a representative of the vendors, Patrick Vitu, lamented that Mpondabwino market is a busy market and each time the bridge is blocked and cars are at a standstill, it becomes difficult to do business since their products are less exposed and buyers are robbed of the opportunity to see them.
“Congestion has been bringing in a lot of accidents. When cars cannot move, motorcycle operators try to overtake them so that they can drop their passenger quickly and pick others, and some other cars too try to overtake, in the process, they sometimes bump into pedestrians walking alongside the road or those who are buying things. Rehabilitating the bridge is going to assist in reducing congestion in the market and is going to allow us enough space to conduct business.” Mr. Vitu.
One of the residents in St Mary’s area, Margret Msukwa, commended the coming of the project as a relief to the transport challenges that the residents in the area face.
“The road is small in width to start with. Due to erosion it has become bumpy, and to make it worse, it does not have a proper drain where water cuts across the road. So when it is raining, you have to choose between not using the road and going round Bwaila primary school. That made it very inconveniencing. The muddy road also is a disadvantage to motorcyclists who often fail to balance and fall off their bikes, in most cases with their passengers.” Margret Msukwa.
In his remarks, Awali, said rehabilitating the bridge will have a huge positive impact on businesses at Mpondabwino market.
“Our aim is to put up projects that will allow people to easily go about their day to day businesses. That way, we will be allowing at least each and everyone in the constituency an opportunity to utilize these project to their advantage. Apart from the direct impact the project will have on people from around Mpondabwino, it will also indirectly boost business as those undertaking the construction will be buying things from people doing business around. Because we are not just talking of the bridge, there is also the Mpondabwino-St Mary’s road construction which will start at about the same time. So overall, we expect a lot of benefits from just this single project.
Awali added that the Mpondabwino-St Mary’s road construction project aims to improve transportation and is also part of a quest to beautify roads within the city.
He said: “It is really not encouraging to have roads within the city that are muddy and impassable in the rainy season. St Mary’s is a big residential area, and most of the residents rely on Mpondabwino for their various needs. It is important therefore that the road should be in good shape so that the people find it easier to move between the market and their homes.”