By Wyclif Micah Namunyu
The residents of Bugobero Town council in Manafwa district have threatened to demonstrate over Khamitsaru Bridge which is totally broken down without reconstruction since 2021.
The angry residents told our reporter on Tuesday, 16th January, 2024 that they have failed to use the road that connects them from Bugobero Town Council to Lwanzusi and finally Magodesi in Tororo district due to a collapsed bridge which limits them to cross because the river banks are always filled up.
They have explained how they are encountering several challenges including limited service delivery in the area due to the collapsed bridge.
The residents have given the Sub County and district leaders an Ultimatum of only two months to come up with a solution threatening to carry out a demonstration by moving naked from the bridge to the Sub county and district headquarters showing their bitterness to the leaders because they have refused to listen to their outcry.
Wamukota Peter, Chairman LC1 of Butsema cell in Bunefule ward says that people’s businesses in the area are down and they are struggling to take care of their families because it is now difficult for them to deliver their commodities to the market centers due to the broken bridge. He also says that many people have so far died by drowning while crossing the bridge.
Wabuyele Charles, a resident of Bukhontso III cell, Bunefule Ward says that they have always observed a very big challenge of their children and expectant mothers who have always failed to access education and health services respectively due to the broken bridge.
He adds that there is a deteriorating situation in the area where by people who endure to cross when water has reduced, have to remove all clothes which is obscene because even those who are in laws to each other are exposed to each other.
A malwa seller only known as Wopuwa narrates that on Friday morning he failed to get (alcohol) malwa for his customers because when he reached Khamitsaru River, the stream was full which prompted him to go back with empty jericans on his bicycle. He stresses that when leaders fail to address the problem, he will be at the fore front in the demonstration of moving naked by angry residents.
A 75 Year old Petilida Kakayi, a resident of Bunangabo II cell says that she narrowly survived being washed away by the water stream when she forced herself to cross the river in order to carry out her farming activities. She says that it was just good Samaritans nearby who saved her when she had drowned in water which was swimming her away.
Kasawa Joseph, a pupil of Primary six at Nakhupa Primary School narrates that when he was trying to cross the river going to school in the morning, he was overwhelmed with water and drowned. He explains that people who were standing by just struggled to remove him from the stream but unfortunately all his books and shirt uniform were washed away that day.
Khisa Herbert, Mayor Bugobro Town Council has called upon residents to be calm as they wait for the response from the district leaders who recently informed them that the district is unable to handle the bridge due to its terrible status but they are pushing to acquire support from the central government.
According to Kikayi Hosea Kimono, the LCV Chairman Manafwa district, the bridge is beyond the district budget because it requires a huge amount of funds to be constructed due to its shallow depth and a widened water bank.
He urged residents to be patient because the district wrote a letter to the central government through the ministry of Transport and works where they received good news that the government has been joined by Oil Seed Company an N.G.O that has offered to back up the district in maintaining the difficult road projects and bridges which khamitsaru bridge is one of the projects in plan