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Kitale-Lodwar highway cut-off by rain

A Bridge along Kitale- Lodwar high way at Ortum area in West Pokot County that  was on Monday night  December  9, 2019 swept away by floods following heavy down pour. Photo by John Saina/KNA.

A  bridge that  was constructed at Ortum area in West Pokot County along Kitale- Lodwar High way  was  on Monday  night swept away by floods following heavy down pour.

Confirming  the incident on Tuesday, the Pkomo Sub-County Police Commander, Kofa Mohammed  said Lodwar – Kapenguria road is now completely cut off.

“The  incident happened around midnight, the temporary bridge was constructed three weeks ago for diversion to allow the construction of the main bridge,” he said.

The  bridge  was repaired temporarily by Kenya National Highway Authority to allow movement in both sides but was once again swept away on Monday night as motorists remain stranded.

“ There  is no vehicle that can cross the road now, motorists will remain in the cold until the issue is sorted out but hope that by the end of the day the problem would have been solved,” said Kofa

The residents lamented that the burials of landslides victims from Muino area will be affected after the bridge was destroyed. A memorial mass will be held today and there after bodies expected to be transported to various areas.

“We were expecting to transport the bodies today using the same road but we have no otherwise but bodies will continue staying at the morgue’, said a resident.

They appealed to the National Government to assist them with a chopper to airlift the bodies for burials expected to take place tomorrow. Some of the family members who were travelling to Kapenguria Referral Hospital morgue to collect the bodies remain stranded at Ortum.

A truck driver, Peter Lomuria, heading to Turkana county said he was forced to sleep at Ortum after the bridge was swept away and he is worried that the goods will rot reach the destination because there is no alternative route.

Emmanuel Chesta, a motorist blames poor quality of the materials used during the construction, and called on the national government to build a strong permanent bridge.

By  John Saina

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