Residents of Kaukotoit area in Malaba North ward Teso south sub county in Busia County held a peaceful demonstration to lament over a collapsed footbridge that link various parts of the ward.
Led by Frerdick Ekiring and Felix Emeri, the locals matched to the ward office to register their displeasure over failure by the area MCA Patrick Omanyala to rehabilitate the Migingo footbridge whose section was washed away by water, or construct a lasting bridge to link Kaukotoit with other areas including Oburkode,
“We have complained for over three years but nobody is ready to hear our cries that is why we have decided to hold a peaceful demonstration to this office so that we can be heard.”
They have accused Mr. Omanyala of isolating them and ignoring their plights, “We heard that the MCA said he cannot help us because we voted for his opponent. That we shall suffer up to the year 2022 so we don’t know whom we shall get help from.”
According to the locals, many people have been injured after falling off the bridge into the river while trying to cross the footbridge, with school going children being major victims, “The other day a bodaboda operator fell into the river and broke his leg, we had to carry him from the river to the hospital. Our children suffer a lot when going to school and back home because of the impassable bridge,” they lamented.
They now want the County government of Busia to intervene and ensure that they get quality services just like those in other parts of the ward, “Now that the MCA has decided to isolate us and sideline us in terms of development, let the County government stop releasing development funds through his office and instead channel them through the governor’s office so that we also benefit.”
Efforts to get the MCA’s comments on the bridge and locals’ other allegations were unsuccessful since he was not available in office or assembly while his phone was off.
However, the ward manager Mr. Paithas Papa told journalists and the demonstrators that the bridge issue was being looked into seriously, “When I was told that a section of the bridge had collapsed I went there personally and took photos which I shared with the MCA. He promised to bring the County CEC for roads to examine the bridge and see what can be done in the shortest time possible to make the bridge passable.”
Papa added that apart from that bridge, the ward office had also prioritized other two bridges in the ward which need to be constructed as soon as funds are available.