Acinga Island is surrounded by two Kirik and Oruo rivers making it a hard to reach area. Joseph Oriya, the Acowa sub-county LC III Chairperson who also care takes Acinga Sub County, says the Acinga community is completely cut off.
Acinga Island in Acinga
Sub County in Kapelebyong district is cut off following the collapse of the
only bridge connecting to the island. The bridge was washed away when Kirik River
burst its banks following a heavy down pour leaving hundreds of people stranded
on either side.
Acinga Island is
surrounded by two Kirik and Oruo rivers making it a hard to reach area. Joseph
Oriya, the Acowa sub-county LC III Chairperson who also care takes Acinga Sub
County, says the Acinga community is completely cut off. Acinga sub-county was curved out of Acowa sub-county and became operational on
the start of this financial year.
According to Oriya, Acinga Sub County,
which comprises 28 villages and five parishes, is home to 14,040 people. He
says so far 12 people have lost their lives while trying to cross the waters to
access Acowa cattle market and the nearby sub counties.
The latest victim is a
one Okello, a son to Otoba who drowned at Acinga Bridge. Oriya appeals to
humanitarian organizations to intervene and give a helping hand to save the
people of Acinga. He says the sub-county
lacks funds to reconstruct Acinga Bridge, saying it can only be used during dry
season when river dries up.
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Ruth Apio, a resident of Acinga Sub-county told our reporter that they have a
big challenge of crossing from Acinga to nearby sub-counties. She says neither
a vehicle nor motorcycle can cross to Acinga Sub-county.
“There are no available boats for us to use in order to cross to other places
so as to access markets and other services,” she explained.
Rose Akwi, a
small scale business operator complains that her business has grounded to a
halt due to lack of access to other markets she used to buy from commodities
Peter Otim, a resident of Acinga points out that for one to cross the water, swimmers
have to carry them across at Shillings 5000 per person. Otim calls for
government intervention to help repair the bridge to prevent more deaths.
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Simon Peter Erwaku,
the interim Kapelebyong District LC V chairperson notes that Acinga sub county
is disadvantaged because it is surrounded by water.
He says the district wrote
to the Ministry of Works and Transport over the poor state of the Bridge but
they were advised to forward the request to the Road Fund.
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Julius Okwi , a primary six pupil at Acowa Primary school,
says he is worried that most school going children will remain at home
when third term opens.
"Some pupils mostly girls will not be able to
swim," Okwii said. He said despite the fact that they face a challenge of transport, he makes
money by carrying people's luggage.
Eng. William Tumwine, the Manager Bridges and Structures under Uganda National Roads
Authority-UNRA declined to comment on the matter, saying he will only speak
after getting updates from UNRA offices in Soroti.