An important steel bridge between the Navio and Tazika communities which connects Paga to the eastern part of the Kassena-Nankana West District in the Upper East Region has collapsed.
The bridge, which was already in deplorable condition, collapsed this morning (Wednesday 23 March 2022) when a heavy-duty cargo truck used it.
Residents said the truck was heading towards Paga from Tangasougo in neighbouring Burkina Faso where it had gone to pick up a heavy load of logs.
The residents said the bridge succumbed to the weight of the truck mid-journey and crushed down into the Gugura river.
In the past, residents had raised concerns over the dilapidated nature of the bridge, calling for authorities to renovate it.
The bridge had become debilitated and its concrete enforcement was gradually being washed away by the water. Several bolts, nuts and other fasteners had fallen off.
The residents were worried the bridge which had become a death trap, would claim lives.
In 2018, the chief of Navio, Pe Adam Kwarasei II, and his people marched to protest the bad nature of the Paga-Navio- Manyoro road.
The chief said the bad nature of the road was causing accidents and killing his people. He also said the lack of culverts on the road caused flooding of their farms during rainy seasons.
He passionately appealed for intervention from the government and the local authority.
The district assembly yielded to some of the demands and improved portions of the road and constructed several culverts on it and the flooding issues were addressed. Movement on the road also greatly improved.
But authorities did not attend to the deplorable condition of the bridge. Sources at the district assembly said the renovation of the bridge was beyond the funding of the assembly.
Stranded motorists and pedestrians
The collapse of the bridge has affected movement and several pedestrians and motorists have been left stranded.
Among them are government workers largely teachers and nurses.
“I was going to work this morning when the incident happened. A vehicle that was carrying wood logs tried to pass on it and it collapsed. We are told the vehicle was coming from Tangasougo in Burkina.” Dennis, a teacher said.
“I will have to go back home and take a motorbike and pass through Pungu. It’s a long way but that is the only option available. ” said another teacher.
Three occupants of the truck all survived the accident. A complaint has also been lodged with the Motor Transport and Traffic Directorate (MTTD) of the Paga district police command.
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