A section of residents of Usoma-Korando-Nawa-Kogony villages in Kisumu County’s Central Kisumu ward are appealing to area leaders to join hands and construct the Nawa Bridge for improved accessibility.
Speaking to Hivisasa.com on Wednesday, the residents said that the initial bridge which was constructed by the Kenya Rural Roads Authority (KERRA) has since collapsed forcing them to cross the bridge along Lake Victoria’s hippo and crocodile infested waters using boats.
According to residents led by Magnum Environmental Network chairman Michael Nyaguti, the bridge that was constructed during former President Mwai Kibaki and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s coalition government has over the years been washed away due to the increase of water levels in Lake Victoria.
The bridge is along the Usoma-Genge road.
“This bridge was constructed by KERRA during the coalition government but it was not done up to the standard. The engineers put up small culverts instead of putting up a full bridge or a box bridge,” said Nyaguti.
The residents estimates indicate that close to 200 people use the bridge on a daily basis to go to hospital in Usoma, and shop and market at the Otonglo market centre.
Currently, one has to use a boat in order to cross the bridge, with boat operators charging between Sh10 and Sh50 for each cross over.
“School going children cannot use this route from Usoma to Nawa. The government should help us by constructing this bridge,” said Hellen Achieng Odhiambo.
Her sentiments were echoed by Maurice Otieno who said the collapse of the bridge has hampered many social activities in the villages.
“We appeal for the construction of this bridge. Let the national government, county government, Kisumu West MP Olago Aluoch and area MCA Judith Ogaga act on our pleas,” said Otieno.
A few metres from the Nawa Bridge, water from the Lake Victoria has blocked off the road behind the Kisumu International Airport (KIA) making it impassable.
Residents are forced to wade through the waters in order to access neighbouring villages, given the fact that the Airport fence borders the Lake.
“Here the road should be raised so that when waves from Lake Victoria come, the water does not block off the road,” suggested Nyaguti.
He challenged the Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) to use its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative to make the road accessible.