By Fahad Masereka
In the aftermath of the Mpondwe Bridge collapse, the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) has initiated emergency works to expand a provisional bridge.
The temporary bridge allows light vehicles, oil tanks, boda bodas, and pedestrians to cross from Uganda to the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Unfortunately, heavy-duty truck drivers, the most affected, may face a three-day wait until the expansion is complete.
Mugisa Moses, Town Clerk of Mpondwe Lhubiriha Town Council, shared the impact on truck drivers.
"The heavy trucks, both from Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, remain stranded on the road sides, uncertain about when they will be able to cross. Currently, only light vehicles, oil tanks, boda bodas, and pedestrians can use the available provisional bridge," he said.
Efforts are underway to extend the provisional bridge to accommodate heavy trucks more efficiently.
UNRA Station Manager in Kasese, Eng Sebidde Vincent, estimated that the expansion might take up to three days to complete.
Eng. Sebidde Vincent, UNRA Station Manager in Kasese, explained the ongoing efforts:
"We are working diligently to make the provisional bridge suitable for heavy trucks. However, it may take approximately three days to finish this crucial task."
Truck drivers, like Rogers Mawire, expressed their concerns about the unexpected delay caused by the bridge collapse.
Rogers Mawire, a Truck Driver, shared his reaction, "It's challenging for us truck drivers as we are stuck without a clear timeline. We hope the repairs finish soon to resume our journeys."
Eng. Sebidde Vincent also confirmed that a separate team would be assigned to repair the broken bridge, a process expected to take about two weeks.
Eng. Sebidde Vincent stated regarding the broken bridge repair.
"Another team will be working on repairing the broken bridge, and this process is anticipated to take approximately two weeks."
This incident marks the second time this year that the Mpondwe Bridge has experienced a breakdown, with UNRA having conducted similar repairs in early February.
Muhammad Kasaija, a resident of Mpondwe, emphasized the need for a lasting solution:
"It's about time a new and robust bridge is constructed to solve this recurring problem once and for all."