Shonga Bridge

img_3513At  the beginning of September, John returned to Malawi. His main aim was to finish the building of  a walkway bridge over a stream at Shonga that floods to a great depth in the rainy season. The river, in the dry season, is only a few feet deep and can be crossed by a  wooden walkway made of tree branches. This lady is using the “old” bridge (with the addition of a few planks to make it safer during construction) to take her firewood home.

In the rainy season the whole area floods and the branch bridge is submerged to a depth of 6 feet. To cross the flooded river safely, the new walkway bridge has to be above this level so the walkway will be some 9 feet above the old bridge level. The length of the bridge will be 130 feet and was designed by Prof Alan McGown.

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In a short time the bridge began to take shape and the bridge approach was built.

 

 

 

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The construction went on apace. (“Old” bridge can be seen on the right of the new construction)

 

 

 

 

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Unfortunately, John had to leave Malawi before the bridge was completely finished, leaving Bob Baxter and Alan Laverock to “finish up”. This bridge will make a tremendous difference to the lives of the villagers, who will now have access to medical services, schools, church and markets during the rainy season.

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