MINISTRY OF WORKS & TRANSPORT supplement
The Minister of Works and Transport, Monica Azuba Ntege, commissioned the first ever suspended cable foot bridge in Uganda on December 12, on Namatala River which connects Bufumbo sub-county in Mbale district to Bunyafu sub-county in Sironko district.
The cable footbridge was constructed by a nongovernmental organisation, Bridge to Prosperity from the US, in partnership with the works ministry. The cable footbridge programme with Bridges to Prosperity, aims at improving connectivity in the hilly areas of the eastern region.
The Government will develop policies and standards for footbridge construction. The minister commissioned programmes for the construction of 10 more cable footbridges across the country, adding that the Government earmarked funds to facilitate the construction works.
Azuba said the construction of the cable footbridges was indeed in line with the works ministry mandate of providing reliable and safe works and transport infrastructure and services in communities.
"Bridges to Prosperity entered a partnership with the Government through the Ministry of Works and Transport to construct 10 such bridges across the country. The organisation agreed to construct the first one (not part of the 10), as a demonstration training of trainers at Kama footbridge," Azuba said.
She said Bridges to Prosperity and the ministry would share equally the costs of construction, adding that the commissioned cable footbridge cost sh250m and that it is cheaper and more environmentally friendly than conventional bridges.
Azuba said the funds for the five-year programme were available in the medium term expenditure framework and assured Bridges to Prosperity that the Government was determined to meet its obligation.
She hailed Bridges to Prosperity for the construction of the cable footbridge as part of technology and knowledge transfer to the Ministry of Works and Transport technical staff and Uganda at large. She added that the bridges would also boost tourism in mountainous regions.
"Thank you for working with the Ministry of Works and Transport to set up the infrastructure that will improve connectivity among rural people in these hard to reach areas. The current bridge (made of wood) on Namatala River has been unsafe and I am informed that about 17 people, mainly school children, lost their lives in the recent rain season," Azuba said.
"With the introduction of the cable footbridge, death at this river is going to become history and the communities of Bumadibira and Bukonde sub-counties will have safe pedestrian access across the river," Azuba added. CLICK HERE FOR MORE ON THIS STORY