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PEOPLE TAKE CHANCES IN FLOODED MBULUZI RIVER

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MBABANE - Despite that the Royal Eswatini Police Service (REPS) issued a stern warning regarding the flooded Mbuluzi River en route to Maphalaleni, emaSwati took chances to cross the bridge.

Worth noting is that REPS cautioned all people who usually cross the Mbuluzi River to be careful since it was flooded. They were told not to take chances because they might risk their lives of being swept away by the flooded river. The flooding was brought about by the heavy rainfall that hit some parts of the country on Tuesday afternoon and yesterday morning.

Motorists

However, most motorists were seemingly not afraid of being swept away by the floods as they decided to cross the river towards Maphalaleni or Mbabane side without checking whether the bridge was still there or not. As the motor vehicles crossed the bridge yesterday afternoon, the tyres were almost submerged in the water. Pedestrians were also found crossing the river through the assistance of a resident who was found next to the river.
The water reached just below their knees as they crossed over. They were then asked as to why they were risking their lives of being swept away by the high volume of water.

One of the male residents of Maphalaleni said there was no way he could not take the risk despite the river being flooded. He said he had no other place where he could sleep in Mbabane. He indicated that he usually crossed the bridge during the rainy season, even when the river was flooded. “I am not the first person to take such a risk and it is not my first time to cross a flooded river. I grew up here at Maphalaleni and, therefore, I don’t have relatives in Mbabane. Although it is dangerous to cross the flooded river, I have no choice. This is the bridge we normally use when we travel to Mbabane for whatever reason,” said the resident.

Learners were also found trying to cross the flooded Mbuluzi River on their way back home from school. They said they managed to get public transport in the morning which took them to their various schools. As they prepared to cross over, they took off their shoes and their school uniform to avoid getting wet. A learner from Ka-Boyce High School said he was forced to cross the flooded river since he was residing at Maphalaleni and was commuting daily to school.

The learner further stated that it was a crucial time for them to be at school as they were busy preparing themselves for the upcoming examinations.
He said he did not want to find himself failing any subject this year.Meanwhile, Minister of Public Service Mabulala Maseko, who is also Maphalaleni Member of Parliament (MP), said despite the bridge being situated between Mbabane East and Nkhaba, they were 100 per cent affected once it was flooded. “People of Maphalaleni also get affected once this bridge gets flooded despite being found along Mbabane East and Nkhaba. Lisivisa buhlungu tsine sibase Maphalaleni,” said Maseko.

Assistance

The minister said the bridge could be fixed either through the assistance from Ministry of Public Works and Transport or Micro-Projects. Maseko said for Micro-Projects to construct a bridge in a certain area, the bucopho of that area needed to write an application as they would be the ones in charge of that construction. He then made reference of the bridge which was flooded along Mbabane East and Nkhaba, where it was clearly stated that for it to be fixed, the Nkhaba bucopho was supposed to the one to apply to Micro-Projects requesting for the reconstruction of the bridge. The minister said they could work jointly as MPs if the Ministry of Public Works and Transport was the one expected to construct the bridge.

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Will public transport be available on December 13?