KASESE: Residents stranded after bridge washed away by floods again

The collapse of the Kyanzuki Bridge after River Nyamwamba burst its banks has left hundreds of people stranded in the area, while building materials at the Karujumba Bridge construction site in Kitabu Sub-County were swept away. In addition, crops and buildings were destroyed in Kyalhumba Sub-County due to heavy downpours.

Part of Kyanzuki Bridge that was swept away by the recent floods (Photo/Courtesy)

KASESE, UGANDA: Hundreds of people in Kyanzuki ward, Bulembia division, Kasese, are stranded after the collapse of the Kyanzuki bridge that was swept away by the flooded River Nyamwamba, cutting off the township from the rest of Kasese Municipality.

The well-structured bridge constructed by Srilanka Hydro Power Company had originally collapsed during the 2020 and 2021 floods that ravaged the district and now the fresh disaster has affected the business community, schools, among other institutions in Kasese town.

The heavy water waves have sunk some of the gabions constructed during the de-silting of the River Nyamwamba. In addition, crops and buildings were destroyed in Kyalhumba Sub-County due to heavy downpours.

According to Friday Exevia, one of the stranded residents, the bridge needed serious attention because it connects the biggest population in the mountain to the municipality. He added that the bridge had been weakened after suspected scrap dealers stole some metals from it.

Geoffrey Bwambale, another area resident, said the transport system is currently at a standstill, and farmers have to bear moving long distances through the mountainous areas to reach the markets in Kasese town. He noted that for the last three years, floods have greatly affected their livelihoods.

Learners like Alvin Kule are worried that they may not make it to school given the unguaranteed safety. He appeals to the government to intervene, noting that most of the schools around the area had already started end-of-term exams.

Friday Tugume, the area councillor, says another bridge connecting Kyanjuki and Kanoni cells has also been washed away, leaving the area residents there equally stranded.

Ham Natuhwera, the district vice-chairperson of LCV, has requested the communities living on river banks and in disaster-prone areas to shift to safer zones as more rains ponder the region.

He noted that the district is currently working with partners to attend to emergencies as they make ways to restore another temporary bridge.

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