UNRA Warns Motorists, Pedestrians Attempting To Use Flooded Kafu Bridge

Flooded Kafu Bridge today. PHOTO/FLAVIA AJOK

The Uganda National Roads Authority-UNRA has said it is closely monitoring the water levels at the flooded Kafu bridge warning motorists and pedestrians to desist from crossing over the flooded bridge.

River Kafu serves as the border between the Hoima and Kyankwanzi districts. The bridge was completely submerged on Monday evening after river Kafu burst its banks following heavy rains.

The situation has since paralyzed transport along the Hoima-Kampala high way prompting Uganda National Roads Authority-UNRA and the police to temporarily close the road.

Police and Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) have since directed motorists and pedestrians to use alternative routes as the authority tries to promptly address the situation.

Allan Ssempebwa, the spokesperson Uganda National Roads Authority- UNRA says in an interview on Tuesday evening that a team of UNRA officials including engineers and technical team is currently on ground inspecting, assessing and monitoring the water levels on the flooded bridge.

He says despite several warnings being issued to road users, some have kept a deaf ear and have attempted to cross over the flooded bridge which he says is dangerous. Ssempebwa says transporters and other motorists should strictly adhere to the guidelines issued to them to use alternative routes to access both Hoima and Kampala.

Sempebwa warns that even pedestrians are not allowed to attempt to cross the flooded bridge since it is risky for both human beings and vehicles adding that walking through the flooded areas is not advisable as it is difficult to determine the depth and strength of the water which can result in loss of property and death.

He called on the road users to be patient and wait for the water levels to reduce until UNRA comes out with a statement authorizing them to start using the road.

“We currently appeal to road users and transporters along the Hoima-Kampala road to be patient and use other alternative routes to access both sides as issued in the guidelines,” added Ssempebwa. He said they are on ground assessing the situation but currently the road is cut off and no one even pedestrians should attempt to cross the flooded bridge since it is risky to both human beings and vehicles.

According to Ssempebwa, a mini survey conducted by UNRA indicates that the water levels kept on increasing since Monday evening, a thing he says is dangerous. He says UNRA has not yet determined when the bridge will be fit to allow traffic flow saying it is matter of time.

He says as per the guideline issued by UNRA, motorists traveling from Kampala to Hoima should use the Hoima-Masindi-Kafu-Luwero-Kampala Road or the Hoima-Buhimba-Nalweyo-Kakumiro-Mubende-Kampala route.

Amuza Ssalongo, a farmer in Kikonda in Kyankwanzi district says, he went to cultivate his garden in Katereiga which is in Hoima district but he was blocked from going back home to Kyankwanzi after he found the entire bridge had been submerged. He has not accessed his home since Monday evening.

Jamil Kasangaki, the Buhanika sub county LCIII Chairperson in Hoima district that neighbors Kyankwanzi district says, the current situation at the flooded Kafu bridge is appalling tasking the government and UNRA t to promptly look for a solution.

Pius Wakabi, the Bugahya county member of Parliament says most people from his constituency who transact business in Kyankwanzi district have greatly been affected since they have not been able to cross over to Kyankwanzi following the flooding of river Kafu.

He says government should immediately look for an alternative to ensure that people operate their businesses between the two districts normally.

Currently, police have been deployed to manage the increasing traffic on both sides of the river to prevent further disruptions.

In November 2015, River Kafu experienced a similar situation when it burst its banks following heavy rains, leading to prolonged disruptions in transportation to and from Kampala along the same route.

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