The Engineering Institute of Zambia (EIZ) has learnt with serious concern the wash-away of the Chipata to Lundazi road M12 over the Msuzi River near Lundazi in Eastern Province.

In a press statement, EIZ president Eng Sydney Matamwandi stated that the river crossing was a corrugated metal culvert structure built over 40 years ago, and that this event is a repeat of many wash-ways road infrastructure countrywide that takes place every rainy season.

“Other wash ways in recent years have included the Batoka to Maamba Road in Southern Province and Kawambwa to Mbereshi Road in Luapula Province. Such infrastructure is typically very old structures built many decades in the past,” Eng Matamwandi explained.

He further stated that while EIZ commended the efforts of all parties involved in mitigating the impact of such events, there is need for increased investment in physical infrastructure, as well as in the resourcing the maintenance and care of road infrastructure.

Matamwandi also added that EIZ sees increased investment in the upgrading of the hydraulic structure as the long-term solution to the current problem.

“This is critical if the impact of climate change is to be adequately managed. We are pleased that Road Development Agency (RDA) has taken the lead in this process of reviewing design standards in response to climate change. This effort must be supplemented by the appropriate capital investment,” stated Eng. Matamwandi

He also stated that the enhancing of national capability in the maintenance and care of such infrastructure is another area that is an integral part of the solution and that the area needed significant investment to assure sustainability in the maintenance of the infrastructure.

Msuzi Bridge, which connects Lundazi and Chipata, was washed away last Friday night after a heavy rain downpour.