Nebbi bridge collapses, three days after it's completion

Wednesday August 14 2013

Nebbi bridge collapses, three days after it's completion

The bridge in Nebbi District is said to have collapsed only three days after its construction was completed. Photo by Patrick Okaba.  

By Patrick Okaba & Felix Warom Okello

Nebbi - Patients and pupils of Pateng Village in Nebbi District have been left stranded after the newly-constructed bridge on River Odyek was on Monday washed away by floods.

The incident saw some patients, who needed urgent treatment carried on shoulders to cross the flooded river. The bridge connects Pakwach Sub-county and Panyimur via Akela Village.

Mr Stero Ongula, one of the residents, said the bridge was the only link to health centres and schools and the flooding had paralysed business. “It is unfortunate that those going to the market to look for a living have also been cut off. This is a huge impact because we are now not sure whether it will be reconstructed soon,” Mr Ongula said.

The residents say it took years for the district to construct the bridge, which connects Alwi Health Centre III, two primary schools and Alwi Sub-county headquarters.

Construction of the Shs7m bridge was completed three days ago, with funding from the Peace Recovery Development Plan.

The Chief Administrative Officer, Mr Seraphine Alia, said the culverts were swept away as a result of sand mining, which cleared all the supporting grass to the bridge.

“People should plant trees and grass and should not encroach on the river banks,” he said.

The district engineer, Mr Jimmy Mavenjina, said this is the second time the bridge has been swept away by floods.

The first was about five years ago. He blamed it on the poor soil texture, which is easily cracked.