Heavy rains struck the region of Kayes on the night of June 21-22, 2017, causing considerable material damage. The main bridge on the rail tracks was washed away and two other bridges on National Highway No. 1 were severely damaged. The recorded rainfall amounts to about 160 millimeters.
The Governor of the Kayes region, accompanied by the regional director of Roads and the regional director of Transport, were at the scene to assess the extent of the damage. These heavy rains caused a village to flood. No loss of human life was recorded but there was enormous material damage. The two tracks, rail and road, which connect Mali and Senegal, are now impracticable.
The bridge located on National No. 1 is of capital importance for the Malian economy. It is imperative to restore it in a short time. National Highway No. 1 is the umbilical cord between the two countries. There are more than 300 trucks that ply the route every day. Foodstuffs transiting the country, such as rice, flour, oil, milk and sugar, are high-consumption products in Mali. Besides this, it is not unusual to see large machines circulating. It is also through this route that the material destined for the United Nations mission in Mali (Minusma) passes through.
Today, trucks, cars and buses parked as far as the eye can see are visible on both sides of the road. Sadness and desolation can be read on every face. In both directions, passengers and carriers remained blocked off the road, fearing the decomposition of the products transported.
The security forces were deployed at the scene to secure people and their property. In a statement, the government of Mali announced that it will do everything possible to ensure the rapid recovery of road traffic.
Issa Bathily /Kayes