No bridge on Africa’s fastest flowing river in Nyeri - Daily Nation

Tetu residents grapple with dangerous bridge on Africa’s fastest flowing river

Tuesday May 12 2015

A woman crosses Gura river in Nyeri County

A woman crosses Gura river in Nyeri County using a makeshift bridge that is leaning on one side. The bridge connects Kiganjo village in Tetu to Othaya. The residents are in dire need of a permanent, safe bridge. PHOTO | JOSEPH KANYI | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By BONIFACE MWANGI
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Residents of Kiganjo Village in Tetu, Nyeri County will now be forced to walk tens of kilometres to access their nearest health facility.

This is after the government closed indefinitely the use of a makeshift bridge on River Gura that connects them to the other side of Othaya.

River Gura is the fastest flowing river in Africa.

Tetu Sub-County Commissioner Haman Shambi said the makeshift bridge will not be used again until a new modern bridge that is safe to be used is constructed.

He said this after making a visit to the bridge to calm Kiganjo residents who were protesting demanding that a new one be constructed.

Mr Shambi said the bridge was dangerous and asked both Othaya and Tetu leaders to consider their people by constructing a better bridge.

Wamagana MCA Jesse Mwangi said the bridge was allocated Sh2 million almost two years ago but due delay in procurement process nothing has been done so far.

He has now asked both the county and national governments to construct the bridge in 21 days, failure to which he will lead residents to a more vigorous demonstration.

FOUR PEOPLE DROWNED

A village elder, Charles King’ori said the village has lost four people, among them two school children, who perished as they tried to cross the river through the weak bridge.

He said two of the bridges the villagers had constructed were washed away by water while the logs on the bridge are already rotten and weak.

They fear the heavy rains currently being experienced might wash it away leaving them with nothing on which to cross over.

The most affected are school-going children and women crossing over either to take their farm produce to the market or visit the health facility.

The old have to crawl while those carrying luggage on their backs are forced to hold firmly on one side of the bridge since it is already leaning over one side making it more dangerous.

Gura River separates Othaya and Tetu sub-counties and has Gura Waterfall which is the swiftest fall in Kenya that cascades 300m into an impenetrable ravine.