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Rains Destroy 14 Bridges In Zombo District

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ZOMBO: Pounding rains with strong winds have flooded rivers sweeping and breaking  away fourteen major bridges in Zombo district in west-Nile sub-region spiraling anxiety amongst the locals.

The hilly Zombo district which sits 1525 terrain elevation above sea level has major rivers like Nyagak, Ora, amongst others that cut across different parts of the District and have all  been filled to capacity as a result of heavy downpour.

Most of the affected major bridges and footbridges fall directly under the district and central government according to the Zombo district leadership and these include Ora bridge connecting Atyak and Kango sub counties, Nyagak Paa kiru bridge connecting Aka and Jangokoro Sub counties, Leda footbridge connecting Abanga and Jangokoro Sub counties.

Others include Fada bridge connecting Warr sub county and Zombo town council , Nyagak Paa okecha bridge connecting Athuma and Nyapea Sub County, Ora bridge connecting Kango and Alangi sub counties, Namthin footbridge connecting Zombo and Nebbi district, Adhi bridge connecting Atyak and Alangi sub counties amongst others.

The LCV chairperson of Zombo district James Oruna Oyullu notes that apart from the fourteen major bridges, other foot bridges and makeshift bridges in the district are in dire condition and may be swept away soon adding that the District is  financially incapacitated to work on the bridges currently.

“As I talk now, fourteen major bridges are all gone, other temporary bridges are also in dire situation, the crisis is all over the District but as the district we don’t have the budget for putting temporary bridges and the DDEG funds we give to Sub counties are not enough”- Oyullu noted

The LCV chairperson of zombo district James Oruna Oyullu sits on a temporary log he placed with community of Aka and Jangokoro Sub counties to help as an emergency.

The crisis comes at a time when the  ministry of works and transport has restricted local governments from constructing bridges using timber and concrete but instead rooting for concrete and steel Construction which is impossible for many local governments limited by insufficient funds.

The district councilor of Jangokoro sub county Arua David while speaking to this publication explains that Leda, which is their only major foot bridge that has been swept away has rendered helpless community who seek health services from Pakadha health center 3 in Abanga sub county.

“We are completely disconnected after Leda footbridge which was swept away, this footbridge was last constructed in 2004 when we were under greater Nebbi but since then it has been helping us a lot as people from either sub counties move in search of services like health , education, Market amongst others” Arua Said.

The dean of the association of LC3s in zombo district also the LC3 chairperson of Warr sub county James Cekecan appeals for immediate response saying Fada bridge, that connects Warr Sub county and Zombo town council plays a pivotal role for farmers and traders in the area.

“The condition of this bridge was initially bad, it’s now gone, farmers and businessmen can’t cross to either side, it’s a crisis that should be addressed  without time wasting” Cekecan Stressed.

The LC3 chairperson of Jangokoro sub county Charles Okecha says, people are disconnected in all directions citing example of swept away bridge of Nyagak Paa kiru that connects Aka and Jangokoro Sub county.

The Zombo district secretary of  finance planning and administration Mustafa Ongom said

“The district has allocated 1.4 billion Ugandan shillings representing 5% of the district budget for works and engineering department in the forthcoming financial year but still this will not be enough given the current condition we are undergoing”

As part of the immediate intervention, Some local leaders have mobilized locally 6.1 million from well-wishers from paidha and Nyapea Sub counties to construct Nyagak bridge which connects Nyapea and paidha town council and is a  stone throw  from Nyagak 1 power house that generate electricity to the whole west Nile sub-region.

The driving rain with hailstorms  that has been ravaging the sub-region has also  wreck havock on school buildings, homes, crops in gardens etc leaving hundreds totally disconnected and helpless in Zombo district.

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