People of Makhanga in Nsanje have complained that development will remain a far-fetched dream without a good road network to the mainland.
Makhanga, which is in Traditional Authority (T/A) Mlolo, was cut off from Nsanje following floods in 2015 that diverted Ruo River from its natural course at Osiyana Village to Chuluchamkango and then to the Shire River.
In an interview, Mlolo Area Development Committee (ADC) vice-chairperson Hastings Tembo said people are destitute as the floods crumbled their economic activities.
“As farmers, we do not reap enough from our sweat. With the diversion of the river, the cost of transportation is high and vendors buy our crops and animals at low prices,” he said.
Group village head Kalonga said there is need to construct bridges to boost communities’ access to social services such as markets, health facilities and schools.
“The situation puts the lives of people at risk, especially expectant mothers who travel a long distance to access health care at Trinity Mission Hospital at Fatima,” she said.
Another resident of the area, Enock Chizuzu, said the solution is to erect a dyke at Osiyana Village to get Ruo River flow in its natural course.