advertisement

Economy

Sh1.2bn Sigiri Bridge collapses days after inspection by President Kenyatta

The collapsed Sigiri Bridge, June 26, 2017. PHOTO | SILAS APOLLO | NMG
The collapsed Sigiri Bridge, June 26, 2017. PHOTO | SILAS APOLLO | NMG 

The iconic Sigiri Bridge under construction in Budalang'i Constituency, Busia County has collapsed a fortnight after President Uhuru Kenyatta visited the region to inspect it.

The Sh1.2 billion project being constructed by Chinese Overseas Construction and Engineering Company collapsed early Monday.



The Sh1.2-billion Sigiri Bridge in Budalang'i Constituency on June 26, 2017. PHOTO | GAITANO PESSA | NMG
The Sh1.2-billion Sigiri Bridge in Budalang'i Constituency on June 26, 2017. PHOTO | GAITANO PESSA | NMG

The cause of the collapse is yet to be known though it is suspected the construction work was hurriedly done ahead of the President’s visit.

During the inspection, Project Manager Jerome Xzue Hua said they were focusing their attention on the concrete slab and embankment.

“We did not focus much on road construction on the Northern side because the most critical point of construction is the bridge’s slab.



President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto address residents at Sigiri Bridge in Budalangi, Busia County on June 14, 2017 during an inspection tour of the bridge. FILE PHOTO | NMG
President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto address residents at Sigiri Bridge in Budalangi, Busia County on June 14, 2017 during an inspection tour of the bridge. FILE PHOTO | NMG

We expect to complete the bitumen work at the end of June for the entire 3 kilometres for both the northern and southern parts,” he had said.

The project which was expected to be completed by end of July, will definitely fall behind schedule.

The bridge is to link Bunyala North and South wards across River Nzoia.



The collapsed bridge in Budalangi. PHOTO | GAITANO PESSA | NMG
The collapsed bridge in Budalangi. PHOTO | GAITANO PESSA | NMG

On August 30, 2014, 11 people perished after a boat they had boarded capsized killing everyone on board as they attempted to cross the river.

Among those who perished was Brian Juma, a Form Three student at John Osogo Secondary school whose burial among other victims was attended by President Uhuru Kenyatta who promised ensure a bridge was constructed to avert deaths.



The collapsed Sigiri Bridge in Budalangi.
The collapsed Sigiri Bridge in Budalangi.

Area MP Ababu Namwamba, during President Kenyatta’s tour of the region, said the bridge was a blessing to residents since it would significantly reduce deaths and make it easier for people to access markets, schools and hospitals on either side.

Mr Namwamba has been using the bridge as a campaign tool for his re-election for a third term and even broke ranks with Opposition chief Raila Odinga to join forces with Mr Kenyatta through his Labour Party of Kenya.

Residents who want to access Port Victoria town and its environs will now have to wait longer.

They will still have to cover a 100-km stretch daily from Bunyala North to Bunyala South, a distance of less than three kilometres across the river.



President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto inspects the construction works of the Sigiri Bridge in Budalangi, Busia County. FILE PHOTO | NMG
President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto inspects the construction works of the Sigiri Bridge in Budalangi, Busia County. FILE PHOTO | NMG

advertisement