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The Mozambican government on Friday announced the opening of an alternative crossing to one of the two bridges that collapsed 40 days ago, leaving several districts in the northern province of Cabo Delgado almost isolated.
“This is an immediate, practical solution,” Minister of Public Works João Machatine said.
In December, rains washed away two bridges over the Montepuez and Messalo rivers on National Highway 380, the only paved road crossing Cabo Delgado province.
Since then, people have been using small boats to cross the river and maintain supplies of goods, including humanitarian aid to populations suffering food insecurity as a result of the armed attacks in the region, which have led to crops being abandoned.
On Friday, a “hybrid detour with several elements” including landfills and metallic structures using concrete embankments constraining the Montepuez river was opened to traffic.
Given that the rainy season is still underway, and there are no immediate plans to rebuild the original bridge, crossing is limited to vehicles with a total weight of no more than 15 tonnes.
Minister Machatine hopes that this week will also see the opening of an alternative crossing over the Messalo river, so that the whole province will again be linked to the provincial capital, Pemba, and the rest of the country.Source: Lusa
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