24 April 2019

Kenya: Kibos River Bridge in Near Collapse As Soil Beneath Eroded

Residents of Chiga and Kibos in Kisumu East are living in fear of a looming collapse of Kibos bridge that links Kisumu town with its environs.

They say the bridge on River Kibos that also connects Kisumu East and Muhoroni sub-counties could crumble after the ground started disintegrating on one side on Tuesday.

A spot check by Nation revealed a huge hole underneath the bridge as a result of the crumbling earth.

A heavy downpour on Monday is said to have contributed to the disintegration.

SAND HARVESTERS

Some locals claimed that some unscrupulous people are scooping sand around the bridge, thus causing more damage.

"A heavy downpour on Monday evening could have just added more damage to already affected area by people who harvest sand on the ground beside the bridge," Mr Peter Odongo said Wednesday.

The bridge is vital as it connects Kisumu town to Kibos Prisons, Kibos Sugar Company, Muhoroni, Chemelil, the Great Lakes University, several schools, Chiga and Kibos villages.

LIVING IN FEAR

Ms Anne Otieno said they are now living in fear, adding that with heavy trucks and busses plying the route, the bridge could easily crumble.

"This is a time bomb. The Ministry of Roads should move with speed to prevent the imminent disaster," Ms Otieno added.

Kisumu East Deputy County Commissioner Josephine Ouko said they are aware of the matter and that action is being taken.

"We are headed there with the regional roads engineers and the KeRRA (Kenya Rural Roads Authority) managers to study the situation," Ms Ouko said on Wednesday.

She said action will be taken immediately to arrest any imminent disaster.

Kisumu East MP Shakeel Shabbir also said he had contacted KeRRA officers on the same.

ASSESS DAMAGE

"I have talked to KeRRA officials and they will assess the level of damage and make urgent action," Mr Shabbir said.

In April last year, transport on the Mamboleo-Miwani road, also in Kisumu East, was paralysed after part of the Kambogo-Guba bridge collapsed.

The bridge also connects Kisumu East and Muhoroni constituencies.

It is also used by trucks transporting cane to Kibos and Chemelil sugar companies.

Mr Shabbir lamented that a permanent bridge had not been erected a year after the collapse.

"Only an improvised bridge is available and that is risky. The KeRRA officials must immediately move with speed to repair the two bridges to avert any looming disaster," the MP said.

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