Residents of Sirigu lament over government’s failure fix Sirigu-Zorkor bridge which collapsed two years ago
The Paramount Chief and the people of Sirigu Traditional Area in the Kasena Nankana West District of the Upper East Region have expressed worry over the collapse of the bridge linking the town and other communities in the area which is affecting the socio-economic activities of the people.
The Bridge, which connects Zorkor, Sirigu through Bongo District to Bolgatanga and Burkina Faso has been in a deplorable state since 2020 and has now become a death trap. According to the residents, the deteriorated nature of the bridge is affecting trading, healthcare delivery, education, and farming activities in the area since most drivers are unwilling to ply the road.
The livid residents say they are worried if those urgent steps are not taken to fix the situation before the rains set in will further worsen their plight. Sirigu-Zorkor River Bridge which was constructed many years ago, collapsed in 2020 when a truck loaded with wood calved in destroying the middle parts of the bridge coupled with severe annual flooding in that part of the country.
The collapsed bridge which now makes commuting difficult has compelled drivers to risk the lives of passengers as they maneuver their way through the dried river. The few who tried to use the road are also charging exorbitant fares due to damages to their vehicles. The Paramount Chief of Sirigu Traditional Area Naba Atugumdeya Roland Akwara III told MX24 News during a visit to the community that the road became inaccessible any time it rained.
“We want to refer you to the road that you used in coming to Sirigu. You know, we shared a border with Burkina Faso and when we want to route to Ghana, we have three major routes, one is through Zorkor in the Bongo District, another one is through Kandiga in the Kasena Nankana East and the last route is through Paga our district capital. But all the bridges that link these routes to Sirigu have all collapsed thereby obstructing mobility, and trade any time it rains or there is flooding” the chief said.
He said several complaints to get the authorities in the area to fix the bridge have fallen on deaf ears while he and his people continue to suffer.
“I have got documents here to tell you that, I have been to the District Assembly several times with these documents, I have been to the regional office of the feeder roads, and I have also been to the National feeder roads offices with these documents to buttress the point that Sirigu has only three routes and all the bridges that links Sirigu to the rest of the communities into Ghana have all collapsed but all these appeals have dropped on rocks” the paramount chief stated.
He questioned whether he and his people were not Ghanaians and deserve their first share of the national cake even though they also pay taxes to the government. “Are we not Ghanaians? don’t we deserve our first share of the national cake? we are seeing reshaping and graveling of roads in other areas but the same cannot be done to the good people of Sirigu, what crime have we committed” he quizzed. Naba Akwara III said there was an urgent need to repair the collapsed bridges to ease the sufferings of the people in the area and appealed to the government and the Ministry of Roads and High Ways to take immediate steps to reconstruct the bridge and to prevent the area from being cut off from other communities in the district.
Some of the drivers who also spoke to MX24 said the situation is making ‘commercial drivers reluctant to use the road in the catchment area because of damages to their vehicles. “The best we can do is to end the journey on each side of the road’ and this forces the passengers to carry their load to the other end of the road to join another car there,” they said. Meanwhile, some of the residents have threatened to stop any politician from campaigning in the area while urging the government to do the needful by fixing the bridge.