By Odama Joseph
Arua- The broken Kia-Kia Bridge on the tributary of River Enyau in Lower Madi county, Arua district has continued to be a threat to economic prosperity and people in the area.
Kia-Kia Bridge links Rhino Camp and Ewanga Sub-counties in Lower Madi that connects Arua and Yumbe District through the Nile belt and to south Sudan through Moyo District.
Robert Olega a resident of Ewanga Sub county said the government has forgotten them for decades. Olega pleaded the government should first construct the bridge as process of roads in the area comes later.
Kia-Kia Bridge has always been a thorn in the flesh for the people for long and promises have been made but not fulfilled.
Lucy Tiko from Rigbo Sub county said women are faced with challenges during labour because Ewanga health center is the nearest to people in her village which is inaccessible due to lack of the Bridge.
“In most cases when women from Kwili parish in Rigbo Sub county are referred to Rhino Camp Health center IV or Arua Regional Referral Hospital. And unfortunately, some of them end up delivering on the way which sometimes results into death of either the baby or the mother in the transportation process,” she said.
Local Council One chairman of Emvenga village in Kwili Parish, Rigbo Sub county, Viga Daniel said the absence the bridge has hindered cotton production because it has become difficult to transport in bulk.
Five years ago, the locals of Obongi demonstrated against the broken Bridge, which they said was hampering the economic activities and posed a risk to their lives. Lc3 chairman of Rhino Camp Sub county, Wilson Agele noted that the absence of the bridge is likely to hinder oil production as Rhibo has Oil potentials
The Public Relations Officer for Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA), Mark Sali said that the bridge is currently on designing stage and its work will start in 2018.
A swampy area that Kia-Kia bridge would cover between Rhibo and Ewanga Sub counties is approximately two and a half kilometers wide.
In November, during the briefing day for 2017 PLE candidates, pupils of Roga and Ewanga primary schools from Ewanga Sub county got stuck on River Nile after the engine of the boat failed which delayed their arrival at the examinations center.
In July this year, a pregnant woman from Ewanga was found dead on river Nile while returning from a funeral right in Rigbo. The communities are left with an option of crossing with boats through the Nile which is risky.