After an approval from DRC, the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) has made strides towards constructing a new, modern Ishasha bridge.
Following two meetings held on both the DRC and Uganda sides of the border recently, representatives of North Kivu Governor General Constant Ndima Kongba granted Uganda permission.
In the discussions and subsequent inspection of the bridge, Pacific Patao led the DRC delegation. On the other side, Robert Mwesigye, the Kanungu Resident District Commissioner, led the Ugandan team.
The teams initially met on the DRC side of the border. After the meeting, the teams crossed into Uganda to examine the cracks in the old bridge.
After the Bunagana border point was closed, Patao claimed during a meeting at the Savanah Hotel in Kanungu that the Ishasha bridge was now essential for the DRC.
The DRC recently took a crucial first step toward joining the East African Community federation.
Mwesigye added that they have agreed that there will be a combined activity between the technical team from UNRA as well as the officials from DRC on conducting the geotechnical investigations to determine whatever will be necessary to set up the bridge.
He also mentioned that they had agreed where to redirect traffic while constructing the bridge. Mwesigye said that Uganda would ensure a steady, uninterrupted flow of traffic to the DRC.
The RukungiriKagungu-Kihihi-Ishasha road’s project engineer, Evelyn Kahuma, stated that although negotiations on the rehabilitation of the modern Ishasha bridge had been delayed for the previous four years, the project was about to be concluded.
Why was it necessary to construct the modern Ishasha bridge?
She claimed that the bridge, which is important to both countries’ economies, had reached the end of its lifespan. It had deep cracks as a result of increased traffic.
The project’s team leader for SMEC, the consultants, Ronald Sebirumbi, warned that the Ishasha bridge has structural cracks. He claimed that it would eventually collapse if left in its current condition.
According to him, they want to construct a new bridge. The bridge will have the same length as the existing one, which is 35 meters long.