ADJUMANI. The leaders of Adjumani district have appealed to the Danish Refugee Council (DRC) to consider completing Eraji Bridge which they said has stalled for over six years.
Officials said the construction works of the Bridge stagnated when the contractor abandoned the site and vanished to an unknown place with efforts put to get him proving futile day-by-day.
Eraji Bridge in Pakele sub-county connects the refugee community of Ayilo to the host communities in terms of access to schools, health facilities, and other social services.
In a recent meeting with DRC officials at the district, Mr John Anyanzo, the Adjumani district vice chairperson appealed to the DRC country director to take the lead in following up the matter which is now hindering refugees from accessing services across the Bridge.
“We are appealing to you to consider finishing Eraji Bridge given its importance to the community and refugees because many of them have been cut off by the flooding river. Take the lead to ensure that the Bridge is completed,” Anyanzo begged.
Eraji Bridge with funding from UNHCR through DRC was subcontracted to Links Engineering, a local firm that later abandoned the works after getting 75 per cent of the UGX1billion meant for the project.
Mr Wellborn Kenyi, the Pakele sub-county chairperson confirmed that the local community around Eraji Bridge have failed to access services due to the failure to complete the Bridge construction.
He revealed that refugees in Ayilo cannot access Lewa secondary school and the farmers from Lewa cannot equally access the store that was constructed by world food program, a challenge he said needs to be fixed by DRC as soon as possible.
Mr Christopher Jean who represented the country director of DRC acknowledged the challenge and said it has been long overdue.
He, however, said the problem now requires a multi-approach that includes the involvement of the local government, UNHCR, and other stakeholders to address the matter.
But Mr Peter Taban Dada, the Adjumani resident district commissioner pledged to follow up the issue of Eraji Bridge until it is completed.