MARACHA. Locals in Yivu Sub County, Maracha district have asked authorities to rescue them from a stream which turns violent whenever it rains and poses life risks to school children who go to study across it.

Locals say that Edre stream has been changing its behaviors for worse since last year after devastating floods swept away a culvert bridge on the stream constructed by Maracha district local government at a tune of 2 million shillings thus complicating mobility.

Locals say that a section of pupils from Ombia-Bura primary school often struggle to cross the flooded stream during rainy seasons which makes them to abscond.

Some of the pupils explained that they wait for the flooded river to reduce before crossing because of its depth.

“We fear to cross when it floods because one of our friends who attempted to cross recently survived death when the fast flowing water over powered him but he was held by shrubs along the stream,” the pupils narrated.

Yivu sub county chairman, Mr Peter Otim Andeku blamed both shoddy work for the swept culvert and destruction of vegetation along the river as the major causes.

“The culvert bridge was small to accommodate the volume of the river which draws water from two other valleys of Dudu and Duniri. Our people have also cultivated close to the banks of the river resulting into the horrifying effect,” Andeku explained.

He expressed shock that the district had budgeted for another shs2.2 million to construct another culvert bridge on Odraku stream instead of replacing the swept one.

Andeku also urged the district environment department to sensitize the communities about dangers of establishing homes close to rivers after a home of a resident identified as Ali Ibrahim was almost consumed by the recent floods.

Maracha district engineer, Mr Timothy Ezati stated that they under estimated the river and installing the culvert bridge on the seasonal stream at a cost of 2 million shillings was a mistake.

He however confirmed that during the budget conference, they planned to upgrade the road this year but the bridge would be built next financial year.

He said the district could not construct a box culvert bridge which requires at least 300 million shillings when the first culvert bridge on Edre was swept last year because they concentrated on building with cost ranging from 100-120 million shillings like Lojima, Okaa, Ayikuru and Ndidri Bridges due financial constraints.

“Fortunately the ministry of works asked us to submit a list of four bridges to be constructed one by one within ten years out of which we have prioritized Edre Bridge,” Ezati revealed.

He noted that they have recommended the district environment department to create a buffer zone along the river to limit the communities intruding into the river banks and set re-forestation program if the project for construction of the bridge is approved.