The bridges over the Nacala and Muendazi rivers in Nampula’s Memba district, destroyed by Cyclone Kenneth in April 2019, have now been restored, allowing for the connection and fluidity of traffic over these waterways.
The Deputy Minister for Public Works, Housing and Water Resources, Cecilia Chamutota, said at the inaugural ceremony on Friday that the bridges were the first of the 26 units planned to be rebuilt.
The reconstruction programme, Chamutota said, is being funded by the African Development Bank (ADB), to the value of US$6.4 million (411 million meticais), with which it was possible to buy 1,110 linear metres of metal bridges.
“These bridges have been distributed across Nampula, Cabo Delgado, Manica and Sofala provinces for the purpose of assembly and launching at critical points to ensure safe crossing,” he said.
In this context, the use of the road corridor linking the headquarters of the Mazua Administrative Post in Memba and the district of Nacala-à-Velha is facilitated.
The ADB representative, César Mba Abogo, said Mozambique’s exposure to recurring cyclones, due to its geographical location, suggested a different approach to seeking capacities, preparing local teams in rapid actions to re-establish transit ability.
For this reason, he added, it is important to provide metal bridges at strategic points throughout the country, with teams to intervene during the rainy season.
According to Abogo, this is a situation that makes managers in the Public Works, Housing and Water Resources sector aware of the need to finalize the revitalization and sizing of infrastructures, making them resilient.
“We are aware that the other development partners will be available to collaborate,” he said.
The governor of Nampula, Manuel Rodrigues, said in the act of delivery of the referred infrastructures, that the gesture represents the end of difficulties, supported by the population in what concerns the circulation of vehicles, people and goods.
He added that Memba district has the potential to boost local development.
After the bridges were destroyed, the crossing was made over the river bed, in precarious conditions, only in times of drought. In the rainy season, it was necessary to cover a distance of 150 kilometers, which now with the bridges is reduced to just 50.