Residents in the area told our reporter that many women have given birth at the bridge after failing to cross over Dopeth-Okok river to access Acowa HC III for delivery. Acinga Sub County doesn’t have a government health facility or school.
National Roads Authority- UNRA and Kapelebyong District Local Government have
abandoned Acinga Bridge. Acinga Bridge connects Acowa to the newly
created Acinga Sub County. The bridge has been down for more than ten years
locking up more than 14,000 people.
Residents in the area told our reporter that many women have given birth at the
bridge after failing to cross over Dopeth-Okok river to access Acowa HC III for
delivery. Acinga Sub County doesn’t have a government health facility or school.
People in the area rely on drug shops operated by untrained personnel for
treatment. Majority of mothers neither attend antenatal services nor give birth
at a health facility due to transport challenges. Farmers with produce like rice, cassava, simsim and others
for sale incur losses since vehicles cannot access their homes to buy produce.
The sub-county with five parishes and 28 villages has seven boreholes.
One parish has four boreholes and others share the remaining two which often
Richard Okiru, a resident of Acinga says the sub-county is
in a total lockdown since it’s cut off from all government services and other
parts of the country. He notes that five people have died since the beginning
of this year while attempting to cross the flooded bridge.
//Cue in “It is really...
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Michael Obokor, a young man found at Acinga Bridge told our reporter that his
mother, Margret Atuko gave birth along the roadside in July this year when she
failed to cross the bridge at night.
He explains that several mothers have given birth at the bridge after failing
to cross over to Acowa HC III for health services.
//Cue in “If you want to cross...
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Angella Akurut, the Kapelebyong Deputy Chief Administrative Officer, says the
bridge belongs to UNRA. She notes that several letters have been written to
UNRA over the fate of the people in Acinga but they haven’t received a response.
Information in Kapelebyong district indicates that the
bridge requires more than 5 billion Shillings for construction but the district
doesn’t have the funds. When our reporter contacted the Soroti UNRA Station
Manager, Ahmed Awoii over the matter he disowned the bridge.
According to Awoii, they only helped the community with a boat
after hearing many complaints from residents on how to access the services in
“That is a district road and those officials are aware. If they
want the central government to help in constructing that bridge, there are
procedures to follow. Otherwise just lamenting and blaming others won’t help”,
Awoii explained that for central government to take over the district road, the
road in question should lead to another district, be a tourist attraction, security
road or be with a high volume of traffic among other guidelines.
On Saturday, Anthony Esenu, Kapelebyong County
parliamentary candidate offered a boat to help residents of Acinga to cross the
bridge. Esenu’s intervention comes after UNRA withdrew the boat they had
improvised for the community.