President Lays First Stone for Bridge Over Lunho River

President Nyusi on 9 May laid the first stone for the construction of a bridge over the Lunho River, which will link the Messumba and Ngoo localities in Lago district, in Niassa province.

The bridge is estimated to cost 200 million meticais (US$3.8 million at current exchange rates), paid for entirely out of the Mozambican state budget. The bridge will be built by the Mozambican contractor Construcoes Casame. It will be 136 metres long and 9.9 metres wide, including walkways for pedestrians.

The bridge will be built high enough to ensure that, for at least the next hundred years, the largest flood likely in Niassa will not be able to reach it.

Currently, vehicles drive across the river bed, which means that the crossing can only be made in the dry season when there is little or no water in the river. But in the rainy season, it is impossible to cross from Messumba to Ngoo.

Messumba is an area of considerable mineral potential, particularly for limestone. A new bridge would thus stimulate exploitation of these deposits, as well as the movement of agricultural and livestock products. It will also create conditions for the establishment of public services in Messumba, as well as for the development of cross-border trade with Malawi.

Addressing a crowd at the bridge site, President Nyusi recalled that the last time he was here, before he was elected president, he promised that a bridge would be built. That promise was now becoming a reality.

"Today I have come to say that the construction of the bridge is going to begin", said President Nyusi. "The next time I come here, I want to drive over the bridge".