AWINDIRI-PAJULU BAT BRIDGE WORKS COMMENCE AFTER COMMUNITY DEMONSTRATION

todayJune 15, 2024


By Godwin Abedican

Arua

The works towards the completion of Enyau 2 bridge project along Awindiri-Pajulu BAT road have commenced days after the commencement of similar works at Enyau 1 bridge site along Odia-Ajono road. The two bridges are being constructed with funding from the World Bank under USMID-AF.

The initially 8 months project that commenced on 4th October 2022, with site handover to NIEM establishments LTD by Arua District Local government have since faced delays and with the pressure of the pending end of financial year 2024/2025 on Monday 13th may 2024, the residents and road users took to the streets to demonstrate the delays on this bridge and road works but the works.

Following the demonstration in which the community demanded intervention from the Inspector General of Government IGG, the authorities have fast trucked the project delays and the works have commenced.
Alege Simon, a business man expresses hope of improved sales and growth of his business if the works are completed “My customers used to some here in good numbers but due to the conditions of the road, they fear to come because they can easily fall especially the children,” Alege said.

Kemis Onzima, 70 years old, a resident of Pajulu warns against destruction of the bridge by the youth ”Am happy of the works being done. The situation had become terrible.  We have suffered. When it floods, we can’t cross and many people died here. To the youth here they need to be talked to because they have tendencies of cutting metals for sale,” Onzima expressed with concern.

In a telephone interview with Alfred Okuonzi the District chairperson Arua, he appreciates the works being done saying the community should continue monitoring wheat is meant for them “I am happy that the owners of the investments by the road side have accepted to relocate. Which is the right way to go for development because the project has limited time for completion. We appreciate the fourth estate (the media) for always being part of this. We have been and are doing this together with them and the community,” Okuonzi remarked.

In a visit at the site on Thursday 13th June 2024, the works have commenced with the grading of the road, the backfilling of the bridge, the obstructing wall fence next to the site has been demolished and the road has been closed with diversions for road users to use Ewuata road, Bethany road and Ediofe road to access their homes.

Earlier, Ely Atebe, the overseer of the project the works said it will take only 2 weeks to be completed.

COVER PHOTO: A gradder does backfilling at the bridge as a road user watches By Godwin Abedican
 


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