Heavy Rains Wash Away Newly Constructed Community Bridge

Heavy rains have washed away part of the newly built community bridge connecting Lweza to Kitega village in Mukono Municipality leaving residents on either side stranded. At the beginning of this year, residents led by the Mukono municipality member of parliament, Betty Nambooze together and the Lweza LC I Chairperson mobilized resources to construct a new bridge when the old bridge was washed away by heavy rains.

Nambooze commissioned the bridge two weeks ago. However, on Tuesday night, heavy rains washed away part of the bridge. The bridge is found on a road that is often used as an alternative route for vehicles avoiding heavy traffic jams along Kampala-Jinja Highway to connect to Katosi road.

Joachim Ssendi, the LC I Chairperson of Lweza village, says that the bridge was constructed to ease movement in the area as they wait for the authorities to intervene. He says that some residents say that the engineers were not competent enough for such a project. Umar Ntabaazi, a resident of Kitega wonders why the engineers commenced the construction works without sufficient materials.

“Residents would still contribute because they had committed themselves to that, but then setting something shoddy is heartbreaking. Residents have not used it for even a month and it is gone. In this case, the community resources are put to waste,” Ntabaazi notes. Fred Kiyimba, another resident says that running water slightly changed its route and affected other people’s properties such as animals and houses.

He is much concerned about children crossing the bridge to study at Lweza primary school taking longer distances. 

At first, the community steering committee budgeted Shillings 50 million for the bridge works but managed to mobilize over Shillings 90 million. Henry Mukasa Bakireke, a road technician and proprietor of Bakizi Construction Company who provided labor, said that the money from the community was insufficient for the required work.

According to Bakireke, the government should think about constructing a serious bridge in the area given the nature of the road and the volume of water it carries. Mukono Town Clerk, Godfrey Kisekka says they earlier warned the community against constructing the bridge and petitioned the Resident District Commissioner to stop the works since the residents lack technical supervision in vain.

“Sorry for the community that had raised their own funds. As Gen. Katumba Wamala, the Minister for Works and Transport promised in writing, soon funds will be sent from Uganda Road Fund or emergency construction based on the ministry’s standards under qualified engineers,” Kisekka said. The Mukono Member of Parliament, Betty Namboze, says that several works are required and they will need government support to complete the bridge.

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