By Mohammed Balu,
Tumu (UW/R), Sept. 12, GNA – Hundreds of people from Jeffissi and several satellite communities
have been cut-off from Gwollu for social and economic activities after a bridge
linking to the town of Former President Dr Hilla Liman broke down.
The bridge had
being in bad shape, according to local residents, and posed danger to motorists
and pedestrians especially farmers and market women but little attention was
given to it by local authorities.
Many commuters from
larger communities such as; Bullu and Nyemeti have complained that people could
not cross over to their farms any longer whilst families were locked up and
unable to go back to their homes in Gwollu.
The box culvert
bridge which connects Jeffissi to the Sissala West District capital got damaged
about five years ago, but left unattended to until 2016 when some work started
but was also later abandoned.
A new contractor,
assigned to fix the bridge this year removed the entire concrete box but got
caught up by the rains, Jeffisi Assembly Member Mr Ali Fuowie Yahaya, told the
situation facilitated by floods created a big gutter and washed away both the
diversion and made the area almost impassable for motorists and pedestrians.
Mr Yahya said as a
result of the downpour lasting several days and hours road users used tricycles
trying to cross the road with their hands holding up their goods in the sky.
He was worried that
he might lose his position as the Assembly member as a result of the bad nature
of the bridge and the road, adding, “It will be very difficult for me to
represent my area during assembly meetings”.
Mr Yahaya said,
“Farmers across the bridge would not be able to visit their farms as a result
of the inability of the contractor to finish up with the work”.
members were tired of listening to speeches from leaders and therefore planning
to use other available means that would help in addressing the issue that was
neglected for many years,” he added.
He expressed the
worry that tax collectors might not be able to convince the people in those
areas to collect taxes since authorities failed to work on the bridge.
members are preparing to write a petition to leadership of the District
concerning what worries them and what they will be doing to make their many
challenges solved, most especially the bridge,” he said.
The Sissala West
District Chief Executive, Mr Mohammed Bakor Zakaria, told the GNA that, “the
bridge has been awarded on contract, the Assembly on its part has done what it
is supposed to do to ensure that, the work is awarded and the contractor is at
the site to work on the bridge”.
According to him,
he had discussions with the Upper West Regional Feeder Roads Director to help
facilitate the process to bring the contractor on site and get the bridge
But the contractor,
Mr Alhassan Kantong (business name, ALASKA) said, “Due to the heavy rainfall”
he has decided to put the contract on hold but would resume work within the
shortest period when the rainfall subsides.
He appealed to the
affected communities to bear with the situation since he was only given the
project sometime this year.