Bridge Washed Out By Heavy Rains, Officials Seeking Help From Partners To Repair

Travellers stranded at the broken bridge located in Ikwoto County along Ramula-Otome highway. Leaders are appealing for assistance in repairing the bridge. [Gurtong]

The former Roads and Transport Ministry Director General, Engineer Norman Charles Gideon is deeply worried over the matter as calls for quick intervention from government and sector partners.

Mr. Gideon appeals for appropriate attention from both government and partners but rushes to defend that the government suffers great deal of austerity measures hence the better help come from its reliable partners notably the South Sudan Recovery Funds (SSRF) which recently donated $ 6 million where the government in turn utilized $ million to enable the state government construct the ongoing works on Lobira-Ramula-Otome-Kikilai-Lorema-Lotukei-Kanangorok 150 Kilometre road.

The ongoing constructions of Lobira-Ramula-Otome-Kikilai-Lorema-Lotukei-Kanangorok 150 Kilometre road has taken nearly two years after it began in October 2011, the former DG of the former Roads and Transport Ministry told Gurtong earlier about a Month last month.

It is reported that a number of bridges in the State of Eastern Equatoria have over the last two months been washed out by heavy rains and the charged Ministry of Physical Infrastructure is seeking funds in order to intervene in.

Last week, Eastern Equatoria State residents tendered appeal to the state government intervention after a key bridge linking Magwi and Torit counties broke down due to heavy rains, cutting off the community from essential services.

The Torit County Commissioner German Charles Ojok reported they have intervened in the matter when the residents raised an alarm calling for immediate intervention from the government as a key reliable bridge serving populations of Magwi and Torit counties.

He earlier disclosed to Gurtong that Imurok Central head Chief Mr. Antony Ohide had called him notifying about the matter which happened due to heavy rains leading to running over of the said bridge until it completely collapsed.

Last month, Kit Bridge connecting Lobonok citizens in Central Equatoria State with Juba, the national capital, collapsed with residents expressing fears that the area has been cut off from essential services.

Kit Bridge, built by the army in 1992 to ease movement connecting Lobonok community to Juba.

The community chairperson, Hon. Alexander Sule briefly narrated that the Bridge had started to develop breakages last year but finally broke and appealed for government and its partners to intervene as the bridge could not be resolved by the community owing to its structure since the community does not have financial capacity to rebuild it.

He disclosed that for a temporary passage, the community has tried to collect and assemble some stones as a bypass segment awaiting permanent solution being currently sought.

However, Hon. Sule disclosed that the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) has proposed US $ 3 million to construct the bridge.

Currently, a construction of a US $ 1.4 million bridge on Kidepo River in Eastern Equatoria State by Chinese Company; Jiang Xi Youse Limited, is underway after it has started last month and its completion is expected by December, the state former Roads and Transport Ministry’s Director General (DG), Gideon disclosed to Gurtong.

He said that they allocated US $1.4 million to accomplish the construction of the bridge as part of the South Sudan Recovery Funds (SSRF) US $ 4,000,000 donated to the state government.

He appealed to the two communities of Otome of Ikwoto County and that of Kikilai of Budi County to cooperate by ensuring provision of necessary support including security for the company’s employees and management so to realize project effectiveness.

The director revealed that though the SSRF channels the funds through UNDP then finally to UNOPS, the state government through the Roads and Transport Ministry with the UNOPS are custodians to the ongoing road works.

South Sudan has prioritized construction of several economic and security roads and bridges in the country as most of benefits of these projects are significant notably easy facilitation of transport and timely arrival to destinations counting safety and enhanced traffic movement.

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