Mother, child die in river crossing tragedy

Mon, 30 Jan 2017 12:33:30 +0000

 

By KALOBWE BWALYA

A WOMAN and her child have died after being washed downstream by a strong current while attempting to cross the Ngwerere River in Chongwe district, Chongwe District Council chairperson Geoffrey Chuumbwe has said.

And because of the bad state of the roads in the area which have been washed away by the heavy rains, it took the fire brigade almost a week to reach the area where the two had drowned to retrieve the bodies.

Mr Chuumbwe expressed sadness over the loss of the two people, stating that most bridges and roads in the district had been washed away due to heavy rains that the district had witnessed recently.

He said people in the area faced challenges in accessing certain areas as some sections of the roads had disappeared.

“Ngwerere area is very bad. A lady and her child drowned last week in Ngwerere River and when the fire fighters went to retrieve the bodies, they had difficulties using the bad road. However, they managed to retrieve the bodies yesterday (Saturday) after trying to do so since last week,” said Mr Chuumbwe.

Mr Chuumbwe said among the roads that had been cut off were those leading to Meanwood, Kwamwena and Katuba areas, and advised the public to use other alternative routes to avoid loss of life.

The local authority has since written to the Zambia National Service (ZNS) requesting them to partner with the council so that bridges and roads that had been washed away could be worked on before more lives were lost.

Mr Chuumbwe, however, expressed concern that the works might delay because continuous rainfall was likely to interrupt the works. But he said ZNS has moved on site and some roads in Chongwe town were being graded.

“Chongwe District Council had rewritten to ZNS requesting them to move on site and started working on the roads and bridges that have been washed away. I am happy that they have started carrying out the works, but my worry is that the completion of the works will depend on the weather because it is raining heavily here in Chongwe,” he said.

And Mr Chuumbwe also said the district would soon embark on the construction of the modern market in Chongwe because traders were conducting business in a deplorable building not conducive for daily business, which was also life-threatening.

He said the district was working tirelessly to tackle the issue of illegal allocation of land which was a big challenge across the country.

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