4 bridges collapsed, access to numerous communities cut in Katsina
A heavy downpour recorded last week in Katsina State has left many communities cut-off after three bridges collapsed in Batsari and Kurfi Local Government Areas of the State, Daily Trust reports.
Also, Katsina Post learned that another bridge around Shinkafi Junction along Katsina metropolis ring road is about to collapse and access to it has since been blocked to avert disaster.
Two of the bridges collapsed in Saki Jiki and Yar Gamji villages in Batsari local government area while a third bridge collapsed at Banye village of Kurfi local government area.
Daily Trust reports that the Saki Jiki Bridge has linked Batsari with Katsina town while the Banye Bridge links Kurfi with Charanchi LGA.
The incident, our source gathered, is as a result of a bridge scour, which is the removal of sediments such as sand and gravel from around the bridge which compromises the integrity of the bridge.
It was also gathered that commuters and residents, who ply the route, have now made makeshift ladders for residents to move from one end of the bridge to the other while motorcycles are hoisted across the bridge through communal efforts.
The village head of Banye, Bishir Gide, said after he was informed of the incident, they had mobilised to attempt a community intervention but discovered that the damage was beyond their capability. “It is in view of this that we are calling on the government to come to our aid. This road is our heartbeat. It connects us to several weekly markets of Jibia, Kankara, Yan tumaki, Charanchi up to Mashi,” he said.
Another villager, Malam Umar Kafinta, said; “We began to notice the river banks caving in and we drew the attention of those concerned but nothing was done, only to wake up after the rainfall to find out the sand beneath the bridge has been washed away, making it risky to pass.”
Aminu Lawal Batsari said; “For us in Batsari, it is now a double tragedy. We have to face banditry and now the broken bridge. This bridge is the major link that connects us easily to Katsina and the route for soldiers coming to fight bandits, we need government to hurriedly fix it for our survival.”
When contacted, the head of State Road Maintenance Agency, Engr Surajo Yazeed, said the agency was aware of the incident and presently working in collaboration with the Federal Road Maintenance Agency, FERMA, whose purview some of the bridges fall under to fix them.
“We have already mobilised to the areas to see what we can do and as soon as possible, we will fix them so that movement of goods and services can continue,” he said.
He said the bridge had collapsed as a result of the changing direction of rivers underneath, thereby washing up the soil beside the bridges and causing them to cave in.