ON Tuesday night, a heavy downpour divided the southern part of Mumbwa district into two – due to lack of a bridge on one undulating stream.
The rains left Kayumweyumwe stream full and on Wednesday morning, only a few daring adults could cross the stream. School children could not cross.
It was only until midday when the current became forbearing and some people were seen crossing.
Mumbwa Central UPND member of parliament Credo Mumbwa and the constituency’s Nambala ward councillor Stella Kamana Chilonda visited the stream’s crossing point on Wednesday morning.
The duo helped some pupils to cross to go to Kayumweyumwe Community School.
Kayumweyumwe stream cuts across the potholed Blue Lagoon road.
Nanjuwa wants Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) national coordinator Chanda Kabwe to rush to Mumbwa so that the department could construct a bridge.
“This is the Blue Lagoon Road that we have been talking about. Even last week I raised the issue of the Blue Lagoon Road in Parliament. This road connects Mumbwa, Mwembeshi and Chilanga constituencies,” Nanjuwa said. “It was [last] done in 2015. But by 2016, the culverts at this stream were already blown off. We’ve been talking about these culverts from 2016 to now. Last week we were told that someone is supposed to sign the contract to work on this road, so that this bridge can be fixed.”
He is alarmed that the government, until now, has not attended to the Blue Lagoon road, including constructing an inevitable bridge.
“We are calling upon the local minister to quickly do something about this road. We found school children who could not this stream,” he noted.
“Let the contract for the Blue Lagoon Road be signed so that the contractor moves on site. We don’t care much about the rains! This road was supposed to be done last year. But up to now, nothing has been done.”
Nanjuwa added: “DMMU, this is a disaster!”
“Last night (Tuesday), people slept here because they were not able to cross until this morning (Wednesday). We are urging Mr Chanda Kabwe and his DMMU to come and rescue the people of Moono chiefdom, Nambala ward, Naluvwi ward and those of Muwezwa chiefdom. All are cut-off!” Nanjuwa complained. “This bridge must be done. The Ministry of Local Government must respond. The PS (permanent secretary) Central Province must give attention to this economic road. People move goods from one end to Mumbwa town. When they are cut-off the way it is now, how are they going to move?”
The lawmaker stressed that all relevant government departments ought to respond urgently to the lack of a bridge across Kayumweyumwe stream.
“This is a disaster! Mr Chanda Kabwe, come and see this place and respond accordingly,” said Nanjuwa.
For Kamana-Chilonda, the culverts at Kayumweyumwe were washed away years back.
“So, due to the heavy rains and the water which came with a lot of force, people could not cross here. It’s a big challenge and this place has been like this for some time now,” she explained. “We’ve tried our best talking to the local authority. We are appealing to the Government of the Republic of Zambia to make an effort to have a bridge across this stream. On the other side of the stream, there are wards and also another district. People use this road a lot!”
Chilonda-Kamana indicated that Blue Lagoon road and Kayumweyumwe bridge were left unattended to, “it means that the other part of Mumbwa district and even the neighbouring districts (Shibuyunji and Itezhi Tezhi will be cut off).”
“So, we appeal that the road and the bridge are done urgently. The lack of a bridge here gives people a huge challenge. School children can’t cross to either side and so, it’s really a very serious challenge that we have to look into urgently,” she said. “We just had a clinic and a school commissioned across this stream. There so many services being offered across the stream. But since there is no bridge across this stream, it will be useless to have those services when people cannot cross due to lack of a bridge.”
Kamana-Chilonda further noted that the Blue Lagoon road falls under the local authority, “which is the Mumbwa town council.”
“We’ve tried as a ward, together with the WDC (Ward Development Committee), to put it on our programme to have it repaired,” noted Kamana-Chilonda.
“But due to the limited finances that we receive every year, through CDF, we have not been successful with working on this road. This road has never been evaluated…”