Locals stranded as three bridges are washed away in Butebo
What you need to know:
- Some youth have taken advantage of the damaged bridges and charge road users between Shs5,000 and Shs10,000 to help them cross to either side of the districts.
Residents in the sub-counties of Butebo, Kakoro and Kabwangasi in Butebo District are stranded after the floods triggered by heavy rain washed away the bridges.
The affected bridges include Kayepeit, which connects Butebo and Pallisa; Katido, which links Kachumbala-Kakoro; and Kakoro, which connects Kakoro Sub-county to Bukedea District.
The Butebo chairperson, Mr James Okurut, said on Tuesday that the entire district has been cut off from other neighbouring districts of Bukedea, Pallisa and Mbale.
“The rains, which have been pounding for the last two days, have left three vital bridges washed away and the district cut off,” he said.
Mr Okurut said the most affected bridges also link the locals and traders to the markets, schools and health centres.
“We have limited resources as a district to respond to such emergencies. We ask the government to come to our rescue,” he said.
He added, “We have notified the concerned ministry and as well Unra over the matter but we are yet to get a response. This is a serious matter that requires urgency it deserves”.
Mr Robert Wabwire, a resident of Kabwangasi Trading Centre in Kabwangasi Sub-county, said they are currently incurring huge costs to transport their produce to the market.
“The roads we use have been cut off, rendering transport very difficult, especially for those using motor vehicles,” he said.
Mr David Senda, another resident, said the roads in the district have become impassable. The district has a total of 500km road network.
“We cannot access Pallisa, Kumi and Bukedea as of now, after the main link, Kakoro Bridge, was swept away,” he said.
He also said some youth have taken advantage of this and now charge road users between Shs5,000 and Shs10,000 to help them cross to either side of the districts.
Mr Robert Kiwere, another resident, said the district should allocate funds to work on the collapsed bridges, saying it is losing local revenue from the markets.
“The inter-trade between the districts is affected and the district is going to lose millions of money as local revenue from the weekly markets unless they act fast,” he said.