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Floods Cut Off South Sudan :: Uganda Radionetwork
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Floods Cut Off South Sudan

Drivers plying the ruote to South Sudan and other areas in Lokungu Sub County have suspended their operations because the roads are impassable.

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Floods have washed away Pagada Bridge cutting off the road connecting Uganda to South Sudan in Lamwo district. The floods have also cut off Lokung sub-county from the rest of the district. The most affected areas include Pangira, Lucwa, Pawuo, Parpone and Dibiliech parishes in Lokung sub-county. Drivers plying the route to South Sudan and other areas in Lokungu Sub County have suspended their operations citing the poor state of the road. Dickens Okema, a driver plying the Kitgum town to Ngomorom route says that he has suspended his operations indefinitely.

Okema says that he got stuck twice on the road and spent two days pulling out his vehicle. The driver says he will only resume operation after both the bridge and the road are repaired. Robert Lukwo, a farmer from Dibiliech says he has about 100 bags of simsim but cannot transport it to the market for sell because the bridge is broken. He says he had made an appointment with a buyer from Kampala to go and pick the simsim from the village but when the bridge collapsed the deal fell through. Lukwo appeals to both the district leadership and Uganda National Roads Authority to construct a new bridge to solve the problem. James Okeny, another resident says the collapse of the bridge has led to a tragedy.

Okeny says when his wife was about to deliver, he could not save her because vehicles couldn’t pass the over two kilometer road stretch because it was impassable. Okeny says as they were rolling his wife on a bicycle she started bleeding leading to her death before they could reach Padibe Health center four. Okeny lost both her wife and the unborn baby. Okeny blames the death of her wife and the baby on UNRA. He says the bridge has been broken for several months but the officials have refused to repair it. Govia Opira, the LCIII Chairperson of Lokung sub-county shares the same sentiments.

Opira says as a result of the collapse of the bridge, the sub-county has lost a lot of revenue from South Sudan. Opira says before the bridge collapsed so many businessmen from south Sudan used to flock the area for food and general merchandise. He says the sub-county used to earn 1000 shillings per sack, but the amount has reduced to 500 hundred shillings. He says the buyers say they use a lot of money to load and offload their merchandise at the bad spot on the road. Opira says their pleas to UNRA to repair the road fell on deaf ears.

 

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He has appealed to the district leadership to exert pressure on Uganda National Roads Authority Kitgum station to construct a new bridge and repair the bad roads to save his electorate. Samuel Liki, the Kitgum UNRA station engineer has not yet commented as he was reportedly out of office when our reporter sought him out. His known phone number was not available by the time of filing this story.

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