Residents of Naava Village in Njeru Town Council, Buikwe District, have initiated a grassroots fundraising campaign to address a broken bridge on Namasagali Road after reported inaction by local leaders. The damaged bridge, which collapsed three weeks ago, poses a safety risk to pedestrians and has hindered access to vital institutions like St Stephen’s Church of Uganda.
Facing the urgent need for a solution, a group of residents is conducting a home-to-home fundraising effort to collect at least Shs600,000 for the construction of a temporary bridge using eucalyptus poles. Mr. Edward Gizamba Masaba, a resident, emphasized the safety concerns and the impact on the community, stating, “We have already registered cases where our children have been injured as they attempt to go through the broken section of the bridge.”
Despite their efforts, the fundraising committee, led by resident Ms. Sarah Nabagala, expressed challenges in raising the required funds for the temporary bridge. Nabagala highlighted the need for more financial support to cover expenses such as pole transportation.
However, Naava Village Chairperson Mr. Ali Waisswa disclosed that the residents temporarily halted the construction plans due to a lack of technical assistance from Njeru Municipal Council officials. Waisswa explained that the residents were concerned about potential accidents resulting from the temporary bridge, and the municipal officials failed to provide guidance.
In response, Njeru Municipal Councillor Mr. Henry Ssenyonga reported that the matter was brought to the authorities’ attention on December 22, 2023. He highlighted his initiative to inform concerned authorities shortly before the bridge caved in on December 20, 2023. Ssenyonga is advocating for a permanent bridge, proposing the allocation of part of the Shs1 billion road fund to address the issue.
Contrary to the residents’ construction plans, Njeru Municipal Council Spokesperson Mr. John Busiku urged a halt to the temporary bridge project. He expressed concerns about potential risks to lives and emphasized that the collapsed bridge requires major interventions, including culverts, not initially budgeted for in the road sector.