Community fixes major bridges as rain wreak havoc in Zombo

By Mike Rwothomio

Some community-based Organizations and members of the public in different parts of the Zombo district have embarked on fixing temporary major bridges that have broken down as a result of pounding rain. #WhisperEyeNews

Recently,  reports about more than fourteen major bridges that broke down in Zombo district set tongues wagging amongst Zombo Community In Zombo and elsewhere.

Smart Sam’s Foundation, A C.B.O. in Zombo district is one of the organizations that has constructed 10 metres long and 4-meter-wide Leda footbridge sparking excitement amongst locals who said the bridge was last constructed in 2005.

The founder of the C.B.O. Sam Kumakech, who is also a Youth Advocate in Zombo district has appealed to other C.B.Os and N.G.Os to help the community. 

“I  passed here days ago and saw mothers, traders, and children struggling to get to the other side And that is why I mobilized this community with some little resources such that we fix this bridge.It’s high time we walked the talk, people are crying everywhere because of the bridge crisis, let’s not play the blame game, let’s help the community now” Sam told the Whisper Eye News whilst fixing Leda  bridge

The LC 5 chairperson of Zombo district James Oruna Oyullu revealed that more than fourteen major bridges have broken down and the situation is dire coupled with insufficient funds.

Oyullu added that they have disbursed some small funds to Lower local governments to temporarily deal with the crisis since the district is restricted from constructing major bridges using timbers and logs.

“As I talk now, we have more than fourteen major bridges that have broken down in the district yet we don’t have enough funds to address the situation as it stands now. Since we have been restricted by the Ministry of Works to fixing temporary bridges we have allocated some small funds to Lower local governments to deal with the crisis”, Oyullu said

Meanwhile, a community of Nyapea and Paidha town council mobilized resources locally from C.B.Os and wellwishers to fix 17 meters long and Six-metre wide Nyagak bridge that is just a stone’s throw from the West Nile subregion Electricity Power Source( Nyagak I powerhouse).

The bridge was used by President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni in 2006 when he came for the groundbreaking ceremony of the Nyagak I powerhouse construction.

The head of the construction team Pascuali Ovoya also the LC1 chairperson of Gira Cell Paidha town council told the Whisper Eye news that they tried all possible ways of reaching out to the government about the deplorable state of the once highly recognized bridge but that yielded nothing yet it had become a death trap for road users.

” We mobilized 6.1 million shillings from wel_wishers after crying severally to the government. We made it thanks to everyone’s support. We want to send a message to the government that we shall not construct this bridge again if it breaks down. This is a major bridge that is majorly used by big people” Ovoya Said.

The community of Aka and Jangokoro Sub counties also placed big logs as an emergency on a yet be constructed multi_ billion bridge that connects the two sub-counties.

“It’s a community for development and community in development,” The LC5 chairperson of Zombo district James Oruna Oyullu noted as he thanks those who have stepped in to offer support to the district.

The major bridges that got destroyed by driving rain in Zombo district have left leaders in Zombo district with a Crisis of Confidence,  putting into consideration that the Ministry of Works and Transport is rooting for concrete and steel bridge construction method instead of the most common method of timber and logs. This, local leaders say has tied their hands given the limited funds at their disposal.

Last year, President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni whilst for the 12th coronation anniversary of Alur King Ubimu Phillip Rauni Ularker III at Atyak seed secondary school playground in Zombo district, promised 1 billion shillings for all districts across the country for road and bridge maintenance.

The RDC of Zombo district Rtd Lt Col Pius Alitema has revealed that the funds promised by the President will fix part of the situation if received.
Alitema rallied all those capable to stand in the gap through the rightful channel.

James Cekecan, the LC3 chairperson of Warr sub-county also the dean of the association of all LC3 chairpersons in Zombo district notes that ” even this 3_4 million shillings the district gives us road funds can’t contain the situation” before adding that major bridge called Fada that connects Warr and Zombo town council has broken down leaving them in dilemma.

Amongst other major bridges that have broken down in Zombo are Nyagak Paa Kiru, Ora Bridge, Nyagak Paa Okecha, and Leda footbridge which connects Jangokoro and Abanga sub-counties.

Zombo district local government has allocated 1.4 billion Ugandan shillings for the works and engineering department in the forthcoming financial year which still awaits approval. But according to some local leaders, the funds are just a drop in the ocean given the current devastating bridge and road status in the district.

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