Locals of Cilio Parish, Aiivu Sub-county in Arua District are planning to demonstrate over a collapsing bridge on Enyau River if it is not fixed quickly.
The bridge connects Arua District to its main market of Kubala in Terego County and it is the shortest route preferred by traders, tobacco farmers and transporters.
The district councillor representing Aiivu Sub-county, Ms Jessica Candiru, said the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA), had shunned all summons to brief local authorities about what they intend to do with the bridge.
“We are all concerned about this bridge, UNRA has ignored us and in fact I intend to organise a demonstration to show our frustration,” Ms Candiru said.
It was constructed in 1964 by the East African Tobacco company and since then, no renovation has been done thus risking the lives of its users. The bridge, which is the shortest link to schools, health facilities and many other destinations, has now developed cracks. Two of the pillars which are holding it up are sinking, making its usage more risky as days go-by.
The residents believe
Mr Charles Egiku, a resident of the area, also said: “It seems our leaders first want to see people dying and that is when they will respond but we don’t want this to happen, lives should not be lost out of our negligence.”
But the UNRA maintenance and station Engineer for Arua, Mr Wilson Kafifi, told Daily Monitor on Thursday that the bridge is being considered for reconstruction.
“We inspected the bridge together with the district chairman and submitted reports to the headquarters. They are now in the process of procuring a contractor which takes some time. “The people just have to be patient as the procurement process often takes some time,” Mr Kafifi said.
Residents are, however, not buying the explanations as they argue that it is a delaying tactics and that it is being frustrated since the area MP, Mr Kassiano Wadri, is an Opposition member.
Mr David Bakole, another resident said: “This Bridge is a death trap and they should not give excuses of procurement.”
in 2012, more than 30 traders lost their lives in a river in Vurra Sub-county in Arua district when a lorry they were travelling in lost control and plunged into a weak bridge which locals had for years called for its re-enforcement.