RESIDENTS of Kivule on the outskirts of Dar es Salaam city had for the past one week remained disconnected to the rest of the country following heavy rains that washed away the Mzinga Bridge.
So it was with much jubilation when the first car passed on the bridge yesterday afternoon since the downpour that pounded the region on April 12, this year -- after the people mobilised themselves to effect the necessary repairs.
Speaking at the bridge site, the residents took exception to the recent reports quoting the Ministry for Works saying that all the bridges that were washed away in Dar es Salaam were now passable after being repaired "was misleading as the Mzinga Bridge that was also damaged became passable only."
The residents told the 'Daily News' that mobilised by New Kivule Veterans; they joined forces and helped to restore the broken bridge on a self-help basis without any support from any quarter.
Group Secretary James Temba, who spoke on behalf of the residents, claimed that neither the regional leadership nor municipal authorities extended a helping hand to restore the bridge. "It could be that the ministry was fed with wrong information.
If there was any fund set aside by the government to restore all washed away bridges in the city then the amount allocated for this one is nowhere to be seen," he claimed.
He insisted that it was only residents themselves who joined forces, assisted by some police officers and community police who helped in ensuring that the place remained secured and protected.
Mr Temba noted that during the ordeal, residents in the area were also forced to dig deeper into their pockets as prices of the commodities sharply went up due to lack of transport services across the area.
Mzinga Bridge, connecting a number of areas, including Matembele, Kivule, Gogongolamboto, Chanika, Chamazi, Mbondole, Msongola, Mombasa, Kitunda, Magole and Kitonga was swept away on April 12, this year, following heavy rains in the region.