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Restoration of Kyotera bridge stalls, paralyses transport

By Davis Buyondo

Added 24th July 2018 01:30 PM

According to Annet Nabaggala, the Kyotera district engineer, Rakai is meant to complete the bridge and officially hand it over to Kyotera.

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According to Annet Nabaggala, the Kyotera district engineer, Rakai is meant to complete the bridge and officially hand it over to Kyotera.

A makeshift bridge over the river. PHOTO: Davis Buyondo

Residents in Kabira sub-county are protesting the stalled construction of Kyakatagwa Bridge.

The bridge is about two kilometers away from the Kyakonda junction along Kyotera-Mutukula highway. It crosses over R. Naludugavu connecting villages including Kyakatagwa, Kasaka and others to Kyotera town and Kakuuto County.

It was swept away by floods in 2016 making it difficult for residents, traders, and transporters to cross to either side. This was before Kyotera was curved out of Rakai district.

In order to solve the dilemma, Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) later disbursed more than 300 million in the first quarter of 2017/2018 financial year to enable construction.

The process rolled out in August 2017 under Rakai and was meant to be completed within four months.

According to Annet Nabaggala, the Kyotera district engineer, Rakai is meant to complete the bridge and officially hand it over to Kyotera.

She added that the construction process mysteriously came to a standstill paralysing transport in the area.

Troubled residents of Kyakatagwa and Kasaka villages were prompted to put a provisional bridge that can only be used by bicycles and motorcycles which are not loaded.

They further blamedKyotera district leaders of failing to pressure Rakai district engineer to complete the bridge.

George Bakireke, the Kabira sub-county councilor said  transport costs have since doubled as transporters resorted to taking longer routes.

He added that the bridge was a shortcut for residents from different communities. He noted that it is currently affected access to major markets, banks, health centres, schools and attend to emergencies.

Roselyn Nakalule, one of the affected residents of Kyakatagwa village, said that she spends sh8,000 to reach Kyotera town using distant routes yet it used to cost about shs5000 before the bridge collapsed.

Grace Nagawa of Kasaka, said several pregnant women have failed to access antenatal and postnatal services in time.

She added that farmers can hardly ferry their produces to the market in time while sand business have greatly been affected since trucks cannot cross the river.

Martha Nalubega, an employee at Kasaka Child Development Project, explained that the makeshift bridge has on many occasions been washed away by floods but still replaced.

She added that her colleague nearly drowned in the river when his motorcycle veered off the narrow bridge and plunged into the river.

“Bystanders who were waiting to cross managed to pull him out but the motorcycle sunk and was retrieved days after,” she recounted.

According to Maurice Ddungu, another resident, the temporary bridge has become a death trap for community members especially children.

 

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