Lai River footbridge in danger of collapsing

In the Southern Highlands Province, a bush material rope bridge that provides vital link to more tha 3,000 people including teachers and other public servants in the remote Milwerip area into Lai Valley and Mendi town is in danger of total collapse.

Last week (April 13) heavy flooding in Lai River over-turned the rope foot bridge causing partial damage and making it difficult for people with heavy loads to cross and go into Mendi town and continue elsewhere.

 The foot bridge provides serves the Milwerip Primary School, five different Christian denomination churches buildings and a health centre/aid post.

President of Lower Mendi Local Level Government, Peter Kundi made an on-the-spot inspection and expressed the need for its immediate replacement with permanent material.

Kundi said he understood there was a submission made to the National Planning Office for funding of this bridge and called for speedier release of funds for the construction of a permanent foot bridge.

“I’m very concerned of mothers carrying their garden produce to markets, teachers, public servants and others who are directly affected by the partial damage of the rope bridge,” he said.

Kundi has appealed to the people using the bridge to take extra precaution when crossing.

He warned that in the past an elderly man was washed away when he tried to cross the river there.

Henzy Yakam