GODWIN ENNA in this report writes on the sad tales of the residents of Madre Community, Katsina, as a result of the collapsed bridge
Recently, a bridge at Madre community on the way to Kaita local government area of Katsina State collapsed as a result of heavy rain.
The collapsed bridge, unfortunately, disconnected people linking up from either Katsina town to Kaita for business activities, as vehicles plying the road were forced to divert to a certain path created by residents of the area who trooped out in numbers to the improved alternative road, so as to ease the hardship caused by the collapsed bridge.
LEADERSHIP Weekend gathered that many vehicles have fallen into the collapsed bridge while coming unnoticed that the bridge has failed. Three people were said to have lost their lives so far inside the dungeon.
Apparently worried by the development because of the economic importance of the road, the Katsina State government had since ordered the reconstruction of the bridge, as work at the site is almost 80 per cent completed when LEADERSHIP Weekend visited the site.
Residents in the community are optimistic that the government was quick to respond to their plights, but it is like a problem solved halfway to them because they are faulting the reconstruction of the bridge, which, according to them, is not done inline with the globally accepted standard, saying it would not last long to serve the intended purpose.
Speaking to LEADERSHIP Weekend, the Mai Angwan, Mangorori in charge of the area, Mallam Muhammadu Musa, called on the government to double the capacity of the bridge, or even expand it to avert stretching the bridge.
Musa said he was happy that the bridge is under construction because it has caused pain and anguish to the people.
He said three people had died as some vehicles fell into the collapsed bridge. He also appealed to the state government to widen the bridge or double it so as to avert it being submerged by flood again.
According to him, “I am happy that the bridge is under construction because it has caused so much pain and anguish for our people. You can see how vehicles are diverting to the other side before they can cross the road to the other side.
“We are aware that some vehicles also fell into the collapsed bridge recently and, so far, about three people have died because of the bridge; so we are happy that soon it will be fixed. But we are appealing to the state government to widen the bridge or double it, so as to accommodate the rate of flood in the bridge. Otherwise, the community will find itself in this same terrible state in non-distance time.’’
He further noted that the collapsed bridge has affected business activities in the community.
“The truth is that the collapsed bridge has really affected our ability to deliver products around this area and we do not want a repeat of this again, the bridge should be widened.”
On his part, Dahiru Abubakar, who hails from Danabaso community, lamented the negative effect of the dilapidated road and collapsed bridge, calling on the state government to, as a matter of urgency, complete the bridge.
He said the collapsed bridge has led to serious hardship, as people now have to go through a very long distance to get out of their villages for their day-to-day activities. He stressed that the situation is already affecting social and economic activities in the community.
According to him, “We are experiencing serious hardship as a result of the collapsed bridge, we cannot transport our products anymore, as people now have to go through a very long distance to get out of their villages for their day-to-day activities, and the situation is already affecting social and economic activities in the community.”
Abubakar, therefore, appealed to the state and local governments to come to their aid and fix the bridge as quickly as possible to enable them resume their business and other activities.
“The government should complete this bridge to ease our sufferings. There is a need for urgent intervention by the relevant authority so that we the residents of these communities will not continue to suffer as a result of the collapsed bridge.
“This collapsed bridge has caused pain on our people. It has caused destruction, as you can see the bridge has been in that bad shape for almost three months now.
“Although construction is ongoing there, I am calling on the relevant authority, especially those handling the project, to hasten up the construction due. As you can see, the road is in a bad shape, and as a result of poor drainage, flood has also affected our Mosque.”
Also, Mai Ungwa, Muhammad Musa, further urged the state government to also assist in rebuilding their only Mosque located close to the bridge, which was also destroyed by rain on the same day. He added that the entire community did not have a Central Jumu’ah Mosque to pray, as such, they do travel about three to four kilometres every Friday for Juma’at prayer.
According to him, “The reason we need the Juma’at Mosque is to ease us the suffering of going a long distance for prayers. Even when it is rainy, we do go to other communities for prayers. Almost all the communities around us have a Juma’at Mosque.
“Apart from that, we were instructed to write names of at least thirty Almajirai from each Almajiri school around, and we have done that. Up to now, we have not heard anything. We have never benefited from any assistance. We voted the government of the day, yet we are just here without assistance from the government,” he said.
Mai Ungwa Musa also urged the government to look into the renovation of the community primary school.
He continued: “There is no classroom for our children to sit and learn. Some people came and took data and wrote something on paper that they will build the primary school. We have not heard anything again since they left. Now we are pleading with the state government to please come and rescue us.
Also speaking to LEADERSHIP Weekend, Mallam Bashir, said that: “What we want to tell the government is that they should be more focused on infrastructural development.
He also decried neglect by the state government. “None of our children or elders ever benefitted anything from the government; we only hear that the government is assisting some communities, but we have not benefited or enjoyed that,’’ he said.
He, therefore, urged the government to build a school and provide water for them in the community, explaining that the only source of water is a stream. Bashir said they are seriously tired of challenges and hardship caused by a lack of basic infrastructure in the community.
“Majority of the people from this community are supporters of our lovely Mr President and the governor. Therefore, we are calling on the state government to come and help us by providing succour to us,” he added.