- For the past one year, trucks were banned from crossing on the Bridge with a view that it would be repaired
- To date, it has not been repaired.
- The Bridge that was constructed in August 1964 by the East African Tobacco Company Limited now has cracks at the basement, there is a huge pothole created on the Bridge that has caused broken legs of some pedestrians
- One side of the Bridge is slanted as it is sinking due to the weak decker. The metallic guards are dangling as others have collapsed
West Nile. It is scary to cross on Enyau Bridge commonly known as Cilio Bridge in Terego as there are huge cracks that have developed on the Bridge.
It has become a death trap as it is at the verge of collapsing. The sorry state of the Bridge is driving away businesses. The Broken Bridge renders the lives of passengers at the mercy of God.
Some passengers have already broken their legs especially on the Enyau Bridge (Cilio) on Owaffa-Kubala-Omugo road in Arua district.
A frequent user of the Bridge, Catechist of Kumuyo Chapel, Mr Kizito Asiku said that: “The Bridge shakes whenever a truck is passing on it and we just pray that it does not collapse with people because the basement is rocky and it would kill people. Businesses to Kubala has actually reduced because of this broken Bridge and as a result we lack food items because they fear to cross on the Bridge.”
He said government should act fast to repair the Bridge that links to Ojuku, Cilio Ona, Burua, Onjua, Kubala, Cilio Primary and churches. “We pay a lot of taxes but it is unfortunate that government keeps saying there is no money to construct these Bridges. So where does our taxes go to? We deserve better Bridges that can make transportation of goods and services become easy,” Asiku said.
“Actually we are left like orphans because the politicians are not doing enough to lobby for us. When they come for campaigns, they talk a lot, but after that they are silent,” he added.
Pupils crossing on the Bridge which has remained in dangerous state. Photo by Felix
Some of the Bridges have remained as wooden deckers. For instance, Kochi Bridge on Arua-Yumbe road, the timbers are now rotten. Ora 1 Bridge linking Arua to Rhino Camp-Pakwach, has rotten wooden deckers and trucks are barred from crossing on it.
In 2006 Parliament approved a proposal by government to borrow $ 7 million from the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa to construct 21 bridges in West Nile. The project, which will be implemented under the Ministry of Works, constitutes funding of the first phase in the construction of 66 bridges under the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa.
Another road user, Mr Hakim Afeku: “Every time you try to cross on the Enyau Bridge (Cilio), you feel like you will fall with it. Government should help us to work on the Bridge and we really need a new Bridge. Our MPs should not sit and relax because this is a disaster in waiting. It would not be good to lose lives here and then government comes in to help.”
UNRA is now currently working on Odro Bridge on Arua-Billeafe-Otrevu road and Wariki Bridge on Logiri-Bondo road.
The UNRA Road Maintenance Engineer for Arua, Mr Phillemon Odoi, said: “The Enyau Bridge linking Owaffa-Omugo-Kubala road commonly known as Cilio has a poor structural condition. It is also our concern that the Bridges are worked on so that people’s lives are not endangered. We now on going procurement process of selective Bridges like Ora 1 and Ora, Alemika and Owa. These works may begin in the next one year.”
He said some of the Bridges are in poor state chiefly because of inadequate funding it receives. UNRA manages 63 Bridges and 900 kilometer road stretch in the nine districts of West Nile.
According UNRA, Jure Bridge on Atiak-Adjumani-Moyo-Yumbe-Manibe road and Amua Bridge on Laropi-Palorinya-Obongi road in Moyo are under design and building stages. UNRA last month opened the Bidding process for the two Bridges. Once the two Bridges are constructed, it would give hope for the passengers to use the once dilapidated Bridges to move their goods safely. UNRA plans to award contracts for Jure Bridge on October 31.
UNRA officials on one of the newly constructed Bridge in Ajia. Sub County in Arua district. Photo by Felix.
Bridges of Ala in Anzuu in Vurra, Gazi in Rhino Camp and Aca in Rhino Camp are also under design and building after UNRA in February opened the Bid process. UNRA hopes that they would award contract for the three Bridges by July 31.
In March 2012, about 23 traders died after their truck plunged into Ala River as they returned from Zeu market in Zombo district. The Bridge broke with the lorry and left over 10 seriously injured. Several people sustained broken limbs, legs and neck. The bridge is narrow and was constructed over 20 years with timbers.
Last month, two people riding on motorcycle sustained serious injuries when they had accident on Amua Bridge on Laropi-Palorinya-Obongi road. So far, construction of Cido and Nyibola Bridges in Nebbi district have been completed.