At 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.
In a short time the bridge began to take shape and the bridge approach was built.
The construction went on apace. (“Old” bridge can be seen on the right of the new construction)
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.