A bridge that is being constructed by the Chinese Overseas Construction and Engineering Company at a cost of $12m has collapsed.
The bridge collapsed two weeks after the president visited the site to examine the ongoing work.
The construction of the bridge was approved after the event of August 30, 2014, when 11 people perished after a boat they had boarded capsized, killing everyone on board as they attempted to cross the river, according to Africa Review.
The bridge, which is being constructed in Kenya’s Budalang’i Constituency near the border with Uganda, collapsed a fortnight after President Uhuru Kenyatta inspected it.
One of the victims of the boat capsize was Brian Juma, a JSS3 student whose burial, among other victims, was attended by President Kenyatta who then promised that a bridge would be constructed to avert such deaths.
The cause of the collapse is yet unknown, though it is suspected that the construction was hurriedly done ahead of the president’s visit.
During the inspection, Project Manager, Jerome Xzue Hua, said they were focusing their attention on the concrete slab and embankment.
“We did not focus much on road construction on the northern side because the most critical point of construction is the bridge’s slab.
“We expect to complete the bitumen work at the end of June for the entire three kilometres for both the northern and southern parts,” he had said.
But for the current mishap, the project was expected to be completed by the end of July.
During President Kenyatta’s tour, area MP Ababu Namwamba said the bridge was a blessing to residents since it would significantly reduce deaths by drowning, and make it easier for people to access markets, schools and hospitals on either side.
Namwamba has been using the bridge as a campaign tool for his re-election for a third term and even broke ranks with opposition chief Raila Odinga to join forces with President Kenyatta through his Labour Party of Kenya.