Local leaders and residents in Butembo and Bukedea districts have expressed joy following the reconstruction of Kamorotot Bridge that connects the two districts.
The bridge, which had been impassable for nearly two years, was destroyed by floods in 2017, cutting off accessibility and affecting trade.
The Works ministry in 2019 earmarked Shs72 million towards the reconstruction of the bridge after locals protested over its poor state.
The locals told Daily Monitor at the weekend that the bridge will ease access to social services.
“We used to part away with between Shs1,000 and Shs2,000 to be aided to cross to either side of the two districts, especially when it rained, but this will no longer be the case,” Mr Moses Okurut, a businessman, said.
Mr Okurut said the reconstruction of the bridge is a big milestone.
“We are happy and in the same vein applaud the government. This is going to ease access to health and education services,” he said.
Ms Rose Amojong, a resident, said some of the pregnant mothers used to deliver on the way to the health facilities after the bridge got washed away.
“You can imagine that it would cost one Shs5,000 to reach the health facility yet in normal circumstances, it should be Shs1,000,” she said.
Mr James Okurut, the chairperson of Butebo, said accessing the two districts has been a nightmare.
“As leaders, we are extremely happy because our people have suffered for a long time,” he said.
Mr Okurut said failure to repair the bridge cost some incumbents their seats in the 2021 General Election.
Mr Gabriel Enyaru, the chairperson of Butebo Sub-county, said: “The bridge will cut transport costs and as leaders, we are now relieved of the pressure from the communities.”
He said many businesses in the two districts had collapsed because there was no access to markets.
The Bukedea chairperson, Mr Moses Ochom Olemukan, said he was optimistic the bridge would cause economic recovery.
“This is what we have been waiting for since the bridge broke down. It’s good the government responded by reconstructing it,” he said.