MACHIYA area in Mpongwe has been cut from the rest of the district after a truck laden with maize and fish caused the pontoon to sink on the Kafue River.
Area councillor, Alex Ntambo confirmed the incident that happened on Saturday around 12 hours yesterday in interview.
Mr Ntambo, who witnessed the sinking of the pontoon on the Kafue River, said it happened after the propeller on the pontoon developed a fault.
“The Hino truck ABC 4374 was coming from Luswishi enroot to Luanshya. The propeller of the pontoon stopped functioning and caused it to sink together with the truck,” he said.
Mr Ntambo said no casualties were recorded in the accident adding that the driver of the truck was recuperating after nearly drowning in the river.
He said the pontoon operator also escaped from the accident.
The councillor, however, called on Eco limited, the company that operates the pontoon to quickly work on the problem.
“The entire machiya has been cut off from the district. The pontoon is the only method of transport we use here, the makeshift boats here are not very safe,” he said.
Mr Ntambo said the pontoon had on several occasions sunk on the river due to technical faults and has since called on the Government and the contractor hired to put up the bridge on the river, to expedite the works.
He stressed that the cutting off of the area from the rest of the district had put business in the area on stand still.
He added that the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) would find it difficult to buy maize from farmers across the river if the challenge on the river was not addressed.
“FRA is next month scheduled to start buying maize. Our farmers here are disadvantaged. This pontoon is not reliable. A similar accident is likely to occur and one day a life will be lost,” he said
Mr Ntambo said the construction of the bridge on the river would protect human life, property and boost economic activities.
Times of Zambia
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