Ongoing torrential rains in Karamoja sub-region have washed away key access roads and bridges, preventing many people from accessing or leaving the region.

The development has had devastating consequences for the business community who have been stuck with their merchandise for several days, worsening the already dire economic situation being felt across the country.

The torrential rains which have been occurring for two months now, have led to the collapse of the Lorengedwat Bridge, cutting off the road that connects Moroto to Mbale via Nakapiripirit.

The road that connect Moroto and Kotido districts has also been cut off following the collapse of Lopei Bridge.

The rains have also washed away the Obalanga Bridge, cutting off the road that connects Kotido to Soroti via Abim and Amuria districts.

The only road which is still fairly usable is the one connecting Moroto to Soroti via Katakwi District. However, Karamoja residents fear Kangole Bridge in Napak District might collapse anytime.

The Abim District Chairperson, Mr Naman Ocero, said the cost of living in Karamoja will rise further. He said the roads that have been submerged by rains have been a lifeline for the people of Karamoja where they received food. “We are now cut off. Our source of food comes from Teso, Mbale, Lira and other districts. It is going to be hard for our people to get food due to this rains,” Mr Ocero said.

Nakapiripirit Resident District Commissioner Godfrey Aluma urged the Uganda National Roads Authority to repair the damaged bridges and roads. Mr Aluma said monitoring government programmes in the region has become hard because most roads have become impassable.