Following a public outcry over slapdash work on Kaitokono Bridge, leaders of Kikuube District have stopped its further construction pending a joint petition to the funders.
Kaitokono Bridge that connects Mugabi and Kirimbi villages in Buhimba sub-county, Kikuube district was funded by the Ministry of Agriculture under the Agricultural Cluster Development Programme (ACDP) to enable the community to easily access social and economic services in the area.
However, as the project continued, residents of the two villages expressed dissatisfaction over the shoddy work; forcing them to decisively approach their leaders for intervention so that the value for money is reflected at the construction site.
Responding to the public outcry during his fact-finding visit to the construction site, the Buhaguzi East constituency parliamentary representative in Kikuube district, Mr Stephen Aseera Itaza, wondered how the contractor who was employed by the Ministry of Agriculture is doing shoddy work at the expense of the taxpayers’ money.
He was disappointed that despite the government efforts to develop the road infrastructure in the area and the country in general, contractors are regressing the programme yet they are paid colossal sums of money and expected to produce standard work for socio-economic development.
The law maker wondered how the contractor who he said he could not identify since he was employed directly from the ministry, could not provide an alternative path for the users; leaving the road entirely blocked yet it is used by the residents to access health and market facilities while students use it to access education establishments.
Ultimately, Mr Itaza told the contractor to halt the construction work as leaders in the area petition the Ministry of Agriculture for intervention and avail the structural drawing of the site to provide them with better supervisory powers of the project from an informed basis.
The Kikuube District Local Government Chairman, Mr Peter Banura, attributed the substandard work to the contractor’s exclusive link to the central government as their direct supervisor instead of the local government leaders who are not being recognised.
Notwithstanding this, the chairman vows that the district, sub-county local government and parliamentary leaders will not allow the contractor to continue with their work that he says does not reflect the money injected into the project.
He, too, vows to join his fellow leaders to petition the contractor’s employer for action, as for the meantime, construction work is halted.
To avoid problems like drowning that may arise from wading through the river, Mr Banura advises parents to escort their young children to school since there is no alternative route to use now that the road under construction cannot be easily used.
The Mugabi Village Chairman, Mr Sepiriya Kyaligonza, wants a small alternative route to be created to enable people to cross over to the other side of the village for their socio-economic needs.
Ms Margaret Birungi, the Mugabi Village Women Representative, is concerned that children going to school are at the odds of losing their lives since they may drown into the river in the course of wading through it to the other side.
She also says farmers in the area are no longer taking their crop harvests to markets since the road is currently not motorable.