Gyang Bere, Jos
Residents of Sabon Gida community in Qua’a-Pan Local Government Area of Plateau State are awaiting the completion of a collapsed bridge in the area.
The Federal Government is already repairing the bridge, which was washed away by flood, and Governor Simon Lalong has been mounting pressure on the Federal Government to reconstruct the bridge.
The flood, which occurred due to a downpour, also washed away farmlands and created hardship for many peasant farmers.
The collapsed bridge linked Plateau and Nasarawa states and farmers have been finding it difficult accessing their farms across the bridge.
Lalong, who inspected reconstruction work at the bridge, expressed gratitude to the Federal Government for its intervention in the repairs of collapsed bridges and other infrastructures on federal roads in the state. He said he was delighted at the quick intervention of the Federal Government following his appeal to President Muhammadu Buhari and his visit to the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, SAN.
He said, “I am very happy with the level of work on-going on this bridge in Sabon Gida, which links Plateau and Nasarawa states from this axis.
“This unfortunate damage has caused untold hardship to our people, where, in some cases, bridges have collapsed and some portions washed away.
“When I took the cry to the Federal Government, they assured me that something would be done, and I am here to witness it.”
Lalong had in July visited Fashola to solicit the intervention of the Federal Government in the construction of the collapsed Wase-Lantang Bridge and Sabon Gida/Nasarawa Bridge in Qua’a-Pan Local Government Area.
The visit has yielded results, as work has commenced on some of the bridges to enable farmers harvest and transport their crops.
The governor said the people of Wase, Langtang and others plying the road up to Taraba State have been completely cut off as a result of the collapsed bridges.
Lalong had told the minister: “I visited the area to see things for myself and, from what I saw, it is something that needs the federal financial might to fix.
“I have asked my people to provide boats as alternatives for now, but this cannot be sustained for a long time considering the economic activities that take place in the area. We need the quick intervention of the Federal Government.”
Lalong, who recently inspected ongoing work on the bridge, appreciated the Federal Government’s intervention, which he said would saved the people from further pains in the community.
Plateau State Commissioner for Works, Mr. Pam Botmang said the state’s ministry of works was working with the federal controller of works in the state to ensure that the work is carried out seamlessly. He said the state had also provided palliatives to ease movement during the reconstruction.
Federal controller of works in Plateau State, Usman Magin, an engineer, explained that some of the problems were associated with old infrastructure, increased rain and desilting, which changed the water course, leading to the damage. He said some of the old bridges would be replaced while others would be repaired.
Fashola acknowledged that the federal controller of works in Plateau State had earlier filed a report with a recommendation for the replacement of the bridge, noting that the collapsed one was old. He said the ministry had commenced the design and costing of the new concrete bridge, and it would take two months to complete.
The minister directed that immediate palliatives should be carried out to restore temporary connection for people of the area while a permanent solution was being worked out.