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Afgoye Bridge faces ‘imminent collapse’

Storyline:National News

Residents in Afgoye are presently living in fear of an imminent disaster. Their fear derives from the belief that the only bridge in the area would soon collapse if urgent steps are not taken to either rehabilitate or reconstruct it.

The Afgoye Bridge which links the town with other parts of Lower Shebelle region failed as heavy vehicles and buses were avoid to ply the bridge any longer to avoid mishap and were compelled to take alternative routes to their various destinations though other pedestrians and donkey carts are still using the bridge, admitting the risk at their own.

The bridge sits a few metres above the River Shabelle and spans several metres across.

Goobjoog News learnt that the bridge which was built over 40 years ago became weak as a result of huge water pressure on its abutments during the last heavy down pour that lasted for days in the region.

“It’s very risky to cross the bridge. We don’t know when it will collapse,” said elder Siid Ali Abdi Osman.

He said: “What we have there is a failure of the abutment which has made it, of course, impossible for people to pass.

He highlighted that four people including women got injured after they unknowingly fall down into gap in bridge before falling into the water below.

Another elder, Yusuf Ibrahim said the bridge was not initially well constructed and since the fall of the central Somali government, the bridge has not been renovated.

“If restorative work is to carry out, the bridge should be reconstructed well because several people given contract to renovate the bridge but after days the problem emerges” Yussuf said.

Meanwhile Afgoye district commissioner Abdikani Yussuf Ahmed said that the administration is planning to renovate the bridge.

“We will swing into action as quickly as possible, we are going to contract concerning department but the public should play its role” Abdikani said.