Karuma bridge to undergo redesign

Kampala – The Minister of Works and Transport, Gen. Edward Katumba Wamala has said that Karuma Bridge will undergo redesign pending the availability of funds.

Gen. Katumba was responding to concerns raised by Members of Parliament that the bridge a major passage point between Bunyoro, West Nile, and Northern regions of Uganda had become a death trap to motorists.

The latest incident involved a Sino Trailer registration number UAT 113F with two occupants veered off the bridge and plunged into River Nile on 20 June 2023 and their bodies have not been recovered. However, two days later, the truck was seen stuck 10km downstream of the river.

Martin Ojara Mapenduzi, the Gulu City West Division Member of Parliament raised the issue of the dilapidated Karuma Bridge in the House as a matter of national importance and urged the Government to undertake urgent rehabilitation of the bridge or construct a new one to save lives.

Katumba regretted the numerous accidents that have occurred at the bridge and acknowledged that the bridge in its current status is outdated, adding that the Ministry is redesigning it as Government solicits funding to reconstruct it.

Allan Ssempebwa, Media Relations Manager at the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) said that a team of Engineers has been dispatched from their Masindi Branch and commenced emergency restoration works on a section of the damaged Karuma bridge on Wednesday.

On 25 April 2021, a fuel truck registration number UAS 337M belonging to Energy Petrol Station in Lira City with two occupants Alex Ogwal, the driver, and turn man Howard Obaro plunged into the Rive Nile, same spot at Karuma Bridge and has never been recovered.

Karuma Bridge was constructed six decades ago in 1963, a year after Uganda attained Independence from the British Colonialists. With increased traffic flow over the years, several trucks and passenger vehicles have plunged into River Nile unrecovered.

Statistics from Aswa Region Police indicate over 25 trucks have plunged into the River Nile at Karuma Bridge since 2011 unrecovered, including dozens of bodies of the occupants.

Source: URN

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