A year later, the state of the Killer River Enziu Bridge

The Enziu River accident happened on 4th December 2021 and claimed the lives of 33 people as they tried to cross the flooded river in Mwingi Central in an incident that shook the country.

Out of the 33 people who perished in the accident, 16 were members of the St. Cecilia choir of Good Shepherd Catholic in Mwingi and were traveling to a wedding of one of their members’ parents in Nuu Catholic.

The Catholic Diocese of Kitui on 3rd December 2022 held the first commemoration mass in Good Shepherd Catholic Church in Mwingi in honor of the departed souls of the melancholy incident.

After the incident, a lot of promises were made to fix the bridge but a year later nothing much happened.

Many people hoped that the horrific incident of December 4, 2021, would be the last one to happen there. However, in November 2022 just after the onset of the November-December rains, it was reported that the swollen river claimed the life of a middle-aged woman who was trying to cross the river from its feeder source on their way from the market.

The incident raised glaring questions about the safety of people and motorists using the bridge during the rainy season.

Jeremiah Mutua the MCA Nguni Ward in Mwingi Central has faulted the contractor who was given the mandate to construct the bridge at the killer Enziu River at his ward for being slow. The County Assembly legislator lamented that it is a year since the river claimed at least 32 lives yet no single visible progress has been seen since the contractor was awarded the tender to construct the bridge.

Speaking to Mauvoo News, Jeremiah called upon the National government in conjunction with the county government to intervene in the situation so that the bridge can be completed to avoid losing more lives, especially since it has started raining.

“The contractor has been slow because only some half-done pillars have been erected. The rains have started as an MCA from the place where the killer river passes though I fear that it might lead to the loss of more people. I urge the National Government to hasten the bridge construction so that our people can traverse from Nguni ward to Nuu ward without fear,” MCA Jeremiah Said.

Leaders who attended the commemoration mass led by Pope Francis’s representative in the country and South Sudan His Excellency Most Rev. Hurbertus Ven Megen assisted by Rt Rev Joseph Mwongela, the bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Kitui said that they hope that the bridge will be completed in the shortest time possible.

Mwingi Central MP Gideon Mulyungi confirmed that the bridge had taken a long time to be completed, he faulted the current government for not ensuring that they accelerate the construction of the killer bridge.

“The bridge should have been completed by now, if it was my money we would now be passing on top of the water through a bridge unfortunately it is not my money. The money belongs to the government and since there has been a change of guard in the national government we will continue pushing even through our Governor as much as we can for the bridge to be completed. Right now the foundation of the bridge is laid, as you know a lot of money goes to the foundation before seeing what comes out of the foundation because it is a special construction and we need your prayers so that we can be assisted,” Mulyungi affirmed during the commemoration mass.

Kitui Governor Julius Malombe promised that he will offer assistance where possible for all those who were affected by the tragedy and also ensure the bridge is completed.

“We will continue praying for the departed souls and their families, and where possible I will be there to assist. I won’t say what kind of assistance but as we go on we will deliberate to see what we can do,” Governor Malombe said.

Q construction the contractor blamed the ministry for the delays saying that there were variations in the design of the bridge that altered the overall contract, including additional costs that had to be approved and hence delays. The new contract sum is 750 million.

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