SHAVANHOWE River Footbridge in Murewa District was on Saturday officially handed over to the community by the Rotary Club of Harare.
The footbridge was officially opened by the Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Mashonaland East Province, Apolonia Munzverengwi’s representative, Mrs Wadzvanya.
Nineteen people have drowned in the river while trying to cross.
Of these, 14 were school-going children, who were on their way to Chemhondoro Primary and Secondary schools, while five were adults.
Rotarian Steve Margolis linked up the Rotary Club of Dupont in Washington, which was willing to partner with the Rotary Club of Harare, for the construction of the footbridge.
The Rotary Club of Harare also partnered with Stanbic Bank, Nyaradzo, the Zimbabwe National Army, Zimplats and other partners.
“As we hand over the bridge to the community, please note that the journey to have this bridge completed has been a very long journey,” said Minister Munzverengwi’s representative.
“With great fortitude and the coming together of the Rotarians, the business community and the Zimbabwe National Army, to mention just a few, the bridge was completed.
“The bridge comes as a timely intervention for the community, especially the school-going children.
“The idea to build the bridge was first muted in 2014, after the visit to Chemhondoro School revealed that pupils and villagers across Shavanhowe River had to walk eight kilometres to school during the rainy season as the river levels would rise making it impossible to cross without the risk of one drowning.”
She added: “We give special thanks to the Zimbabwe National Army who, through their experts, came at the right time to see through the project to its end.
“I would like to applaud the excellent working relationship that prevails between the Rotarians and the Zimbabwe National Army.
“This cordial working relationship has grown over the years allowing for these initiatives and partnerships as we see here today the impact on communities and livelihoods.
“I urge you all leaders and everyone in this community to use, maintain and guard your infrastructure.
“We will continue to render the requisite support as your government for future initiatives and the betterment of our community.” *H-Metro*