Locals struggling as floods wash away Oliji bridge

A man crosses culverts after the temporary bridge was washed away on August 1, 2022. PHOTO/MARKO TAIBOT

What you need to know:

  • The district engineer, Mr Nick Afayo, said the works on the bridge were suspended after the contractor failed to start. 

Close to 25,000 refugees from Alere and Oliji refugee settlements in Oliji Parish in Pachara Sub-county, Adjumani District, are facing difficulties in accessing social services as a result of a downpour that swept away Oliji Bridge on Monday. The bridge links Oliji and Ogujabe parishes.

Mr Moses Nyang, the refugee welfare council chairperson (RWC3), said refugees from Alere and Oliji are unable to access basic services since the road has become impassable.

“Our people, especially expectant mothers, who want to access health services at night face a lot of challenges since the bridge has been washed away,” Mr Nyang said.

In 2020, Adjumani District established a temporary bridge over Oliji River to ease movement of refugees and host communities while Kasike Construction Company Limited, a company contracted to construct Oliji Bridge since 2020, mobilised to build a permanent bridge.
The district, however, terminated the contract. 

“We appeal to the Office of the Prime Minister and the district authorities to urgently do the needful so that we can access essential service centres,” Mr Nyang said.

Mr John Amacha Drali, a teacher at Oliji Primary School, said he pays between Shs2,000 and Shs3,000 to be carried across the river.

“It has become very expensive to cross, especially when it rains. Once it rains, the torrents are dangerous and it has become a death trap, especially for school-going children.

Mr Savior Aci Obulejo, the Robidiri Village chairperson, confirmed the difficulties the communities are facing. 

Mr Gabriel Kodili, the Pachara Sub-county councillor, said the district has procured another contractor to take over the works since Kasike Company was incapacitated to complete the works.

The district engineer, Mr Nick Afayo, said the works on the bridge were suspended after the contractor failed to start. 

“Work is set to start next week, the contractor did not have capacity both financially and technically and because of that we have relieved him and we advertised for new contractors,” Mr Afayo said.

The Shs2.5 billion project includes the road from Elewkwe to Ajujo, Una Minia, and Pachara-Ogujebe, which are to be upgraded into class one murram. 
 

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