COMPLETION of the 7.7bn/- Momba Bridge across Momba River that borders Rukwa Region in Sumbawanga District and Songwe in Momba District is a source of great relief for people in the areas.
For at least 60 people are feared to have been attacked and killed by crocodiles in the recent past while attempting to cross River Momba along the Lake Rukwa Basin. They included pregnant women and children.
The immensely delighted Mtowisa Ward Councillor along the Lake Basin in Sumbawanga District, Mr Edgar Marin, told the 'Daily News' that bridge was a crucial link between the people of Katavi and Rukwa regions, and its services were beneficial to some in neighbouring Malawi, Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
"Before the construction of the bridge, people from Kamsamba in Songwe (then Mbeya Region) and Mtowisa, Kipeta, Kilyamatundu villages, to mention just a few, risked their lives by crossing Momba River for either seeking medical treatment or buying essential goods," Mr Marin added. "The number of people who were killed by crocodiles could be higher than 60," Mr Marin remarked.
Similar sentiments were aired by Kipeta Ward Councillor along the Lake Rukwa Basin on the side of Sumbawanga District, Mr Rashid Kalele.
On his part the Rukwa Region Tanroads Manager, Engineer Masuka Mkina said the construction works of the 84 metre long Momba Bridge had reached 100 per cent.
"The construction of the bridge was contracted to Jiangxi Geo - Engineering (Group) Corporation (JCC) at the cost of 7.7bn/- under the supervision of Tanroads Engineering Consulting Unit (TECU) under the Rukwa Region Tanroads Manager," Eng Mkina explained.