New metallic ladder connects Sironko mountain residents

Saturday October 12 2019

Joy.  The Minister of Works, Ge Katumba Wamala

Joy. The Minister of Works, Ge Katumba Wamala (left), Sironko woman MP Florence Nambozo (2nd left ), Budadiri East MP Vincent Waboya, and residents pose for a photo at the metallic ladder bridge on Thursday. PHOTO BY LEONARD MUKOOLI 

By Leonard Mukooli

There is a great sigh of relief to the people living in the mountainous parts of Sironko District as government completes the construction works of the metallic ladder bridge.
The 347-metre ladder bridge was constructed by Mount Elgon Labour-based Training Centre (MELTC) under the Ministry of Works and Transport at a cost of Shs244 million under a programme dubbed ‘sustainable movement for mountain dwellers project’.
The locals expressed great happiness for the ladders as this was a dream-come-true for them noting that the movement of farm, produce to the market and access to health and education services were just few of the challenges that they have been facing in the past years.
While commissioning the ladder yesterday, on Sigwa Hill in Butandiga Sub-county, Gen Katumba Wamala, the State Minister for Works, said the ladders will bridge the gap that was existing between the people living in valleys and those on top of Sigwa Hill, who faced a lot of difficulties while trying to have access to social economic service.
“The population in that area had difficulties in accessing health care, markets and education facilities provided by government and due to the difficult hilly terrain, government services in these areas was greatly hampered” said Gen Wamala.
He added that the construction works of these ladders on the dangerous sections of the ridge will go a long way in addressing the challenge of connectivity and improving access to government services.
Mr Jackson Manana, a resident of Jewa Village, expressed joy over the development, saying the metallic ladders will improve their livelihoods because they will access social services.
He said in the past, several people had lost lives as they fell off the wooden ladders.
“One day, pupils were going to school and one of them fell off and died on spot. The metallic ladder bridge will minimise such incidents,” Mr Manana said.
He said on another occasion, residents who were carrying a patient to Mbaya Health Centre III looked on helplessly as the patient slipped down the ladder and died.
Mr Vincent Waboya, the area Member of Parliament, said the bridge will help people from Bukyabo, Elgon and Butandiga sub-counties transport their farm produce.
Mr Geoffrey Kiige, the contracts manager from MELTC, said the technology enables more than 50 people to move on the ladder at a go and it could last for 25 years.