Local leaders and other stakeholders use the newly commissioned Mihani bridge connecting Bunyangabu and Kasese districts, constructed by Bridge for Prosperity in partnership with Ministry of Works and Transport
Residents of Kabonero sub-county Bunyangabu district and Bwesumbu sub-county Kasese district have tasked their district local governments to improve on the connectivity of the two by road through Kabonero and Bwesumbu. This follows the commissioning of the 123 million Shilling Suspension Bridge in the area.
While attending the commissioning of the 67.8 meters suspension bridge constructed by “Bridge for prosperity” a US-based nonprofit organization in partnership with the “Ministry of works and transport”, residents tasked the area leadership to improve on the grade of the road network in both districts to enable them to access social services with ease.
According to residents, crossing river Rwimi to access both districts has often been tragic and at least 26 people had lost their lives by drowning while attempting to cross to either district.
Speaker after speaker Locals testified that before the initiation of the Mihani suspension bridge, the area had become a death trap for traders, pregnant mothers and school-going children and they want the sub-county leaders to focus on improving the access.
John Kyaligonza, the Kabonero sub-county chairperson, expressed gratitude to the American people and the ministry of works and transport for having combined efforts to construct a bridge to connect the two districts.
“The bridge construction is timely and will help our neighbour’s in Kasese district to access our markets in Bunyangabu districts," he said. "Let us harness the opportunities that come along with this bridge he stated.
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Peluci Mwerya Bisando the Bwesumbu sub county district councillor in Kasese while at the commissioning of the bridge said the facility will help traders of Kasese to sell their Merchandize in Kasogi market in Bunyangabu district and likewise Bunyangabu traders in Kasindani market in Kasese.
Mwerya said the makeshift bridge that had earlier on been improvised by the locals, had ended in the drowning of many residents while attempting to cross from either side with their goods.
Meshach Mupika a resident of Bwesumbu said the River is surrounded by 26 graves of residents who drowned while attempting to cross and since they avoid transferring the bad omen to their siblings they bury the deceased along the river. Meshach noted that the commissioned bridge will help to avoid unnecessary deaths by drowning of residents, however, he urged the local community around to guard the bridge jealously from malicious vandals.
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Eng. Zirimenya Hassan Andrew, the Project Manager and a representative of the Ministry of Works and Transport said the government is honoured to have partnered with “Bridge for prosperity” to create bridges in the country to enable community connection and access to better service delivery.
Zirimenya said the ministry entered an MOU with Bridge for prosperity to construct 11 bridges across the county while targeting mountainous areas that are hard to reach. Seven of the Bridges will be established in the eastern region of Uganda and five in the western and the Mihani bridge is the second to be completed in this area, the first one was established in Karambi sub-county Kasese district.
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Zirimenya says the bridge has a lifespan of 30-years and both bridges for prosperity and the Uganda government through the Ministry of Works and Transport.
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“We still urge local governments to identify areas that are in dire need of such facilities to notify the ministry through the district leadership so that we can link our partners, who will help us improve on the connectivity of several areas. "The program will go on for five years,” Zirimenya added.