Over 340 Mulungushi Agro Primary School pupils in Chisamba District are not attending classes because a bridge they use on their way has been swept away by heavy rains.
Speaking to News Diggers! in an interview, Chisamba District Commissioner Martin Chowa said a contractor was given a contract to build a bridge over the Muswishi River, but the company only managed to put a temporal bridge that was swept away last week.
“The heavy rains we experienced last week washed away Muswishi bridge along the Muswishi river. So currently about 350 pupils who cross this river to go to Mulungushi Agro Primary school have been cut off. So far, we have engaged the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) and we are working on other modalities to ensure that children return to school as soon as possible,” Chowa said.
Chowa also disclosed that pupils at Mututu Primary school risked being cut off because the bridge they use needed urgent attention.
“Mututu bridge also needs urgent attention. The poles on the bridge are worn out and should be replaced. We are however working tirelessly with the Local authority to come up with a quick temporal solution to prevent children from being cut off,” he said.
And the district commissioner said the prolonged dry spell that was experienced in the month of January this year has negatively affected the farming community in the district.
“The prolonged dry spell we experienced early this year has negatively affected the farming community in the district. As you know most of the people here depend on agriculture. Some farmers had to replant because of the dry spell. This was very costly to the farmers. This is why we need to move away from rain-fed farming and take advantage of irrigation schemes. Government is constructing Muomboshi dam which is at 75 per cent [completion],” said Chowa.
“This is because government is aware that we need to move away from rain fed agriculture and begin to harvest rain for agricultural purposes. Once completed, the dam will help the farming community to use irrigation to grow their crops. This is a good initiate especially that agriculture is the main form of livelihood for the people of Chisamba.”