A reconstructed bridge along Mbale-Busamaga road in Mbale city has collapsed a week after it was opened by the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA).
The bridge was rebuilt in mid-December 2022 after it was destroyed by floods in August, which affected several roads in Mbale district.
Hamdan Khaukha, the Chairperson of Nabweya Cell in Mbale City Northern Division, says that the reconstructed bridge broke down on Friday, December 23.
“They officially announced to the people that, the construction of the bridge was done and people can start using it,” said Khaukha.
Loy Wamboga, a resident of Kilulu B in Busamaga ward in Mbale City Northern Division, says that residents and the business community are unhappy with the development, which has affected the transportation of produce from Mbale’s food hub in Bukonde and Bufumbo to the market.
“This bridge connects Mbale to most of the farming areas of the Bugisu sub-region including Wanale, Bukonde, and Bulambuli where most of the food product comes from,” she said.
Wamboga has asked the authorities to re-fix the bridge as soon as possible to allow the business to operate normally.
Abdallah Magambo, the Mbale City Deputy Speaker has tasked UNRA to explain why the bridge, which was constructed in Mid-December broke down a week after being commissioned.
“It’s sad that the UNRA that is supposed to supervise and put up good roads and bridges does shoddy work,” said Magambo.
Tina Nakombe, the Mbale UNRA Station Manager acknowledged the collapse of the new bridge, saying that they will fix it as soon as possible.
“Our team is aware and they are going to work on it,” she told URN on the phone.