Mufunje bridge: Where only the brave can cross
Every morning, learners have to brave themselves to cross a dangerous makeshift bridge that connects the counties of Kakamega and Bungoma.
Mufunje bridge was constructed by residents of Lufwindiri village in Kakamega county in 2007.
However, the bridge is turning out to be a death trap owing to the risks the residents have to endure while crossing it.
A probe by NTV revealed that the bridge constructed by a barbed wire and logs can only accommodate two people at a time due to it’s withholding capacity and strength.
John Kundu a resident of Lufwindiri says they constructed the bridge after noticing that so many people were having a hard time crossing from Kakamega to Bungoma to sell their products in the neighbouring Webuye town.
“So, as residents, we pulled our resources together and erected this makeshift bridge so that it could help our women to get to the market and also our children to get to school at ease,” Kundu said.
Kundu just like other locals appealed to the government to help upgrade the bridge by giving it a facelift
“Initially we used to charge people to use the bridge but we stopped it. Only one or two people can use the bridge at a go. We appeal to the government to help us have a better bridge,” Kundu said explaining that people are also prohibited from crossing the bridge while carrying dead bodies.
On his part, Robert Kalamu a resident of Kakamega county said the bridge starts from Lukoba village.
“The biggest challenge we have is during the rainy season. Crossing the bridge is not easy especially for the expectant women. But if we had a better bridge, even motorbikes or vehicles could easily cross and save lives,” Kalamu said.
NTV understands that the bridge reduces the time used moving from the region to Webuye than using the usual Kaburengu route.
Japheth Sikolia another resident of Lufwindiri observed that another challenge they have is crossing the bridge with livestock.
“If we have to cross the bridge with cattle then we have to walk them through the water and not over the bridge. But if the river is full to capacity we can’t do that,” said Sikolia.
Martha Juma another resident of Lufwindiri said as women, they risk crossing this bridge.
“Even there is an expectant woman who almost lost her life after the bridge collapsed while she was crossing. Luckily, she was rescued. Most women and girls can’t even swim should they fall in the water,” Juma lamented.
Hellen Nyongesa yet another resident of Lufwindiri said that most people who use the bridge are students who cross from Kakamega to Bungoma county.
“If this bridge is upgraded it will be of great help to all of us,” said Nyongesa.