Mbabane: Acting Prime Minister Themba Nhlanganiso Masuku says the cost of rehabilitate the damaged roads and bridges is estimated at E180 million, a portion of which Government is making available immediately.
In his statement released on Friday, Masuku said a plan to rehabilitate the damaged roads and bridges has been approved and is already being implemented in some of the badly affected areas.
He said government will also assist households without the coping capacity to rebuild their damaged houses.
Masuku’s statement came after the cabinet’s five day virtualretreat characterised by frank yet robust discussions andpresentations with a wider focus on keeping the country’sdevelopment goals on track at a time when our country andthe world is confronting a stubborn and deadly enemy inCOVID-19.
On the issue of the floods brought by the cyclone, Masuku said while the country was dealing with the catastrophe of the COVID-19 pandemic, also had to face another challenge brought by floods caused by a Tropical Cyclone. Cyclone Eloise, which developed in the Indian Ocean and landed in Mozambique, reached Eswatini with above average rainfall but luckily without strong winds.
He said even though the Cyclone was not severely brutal to Eswatini as initially envisaged, it resulted in the devastation of critical infrastructure such as roads and facilities, property, livelihoods, agriculture and the natural environment as well as disruption in the provision of essential services.
Government, supported by the private sector and development partners, undertook a rapid assessment to ascertain the extent of the damage caused by the floods and the estimated cost of rehabilitation.
Masuku disclosed that six people died while attempting to cross flooded rivers. He said it was clear that the deaths could have been avoided had everybody heeded to the alerts and warnings issued by various government departments including the Police, NDMA and the Meteorology department that no attempts should be made to cross flooded rivers. He emphasized people should stay away from flooded rivers and avoid crossing flooded bridges with their vehicles.
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