A five-hour heavy downpour Saturday night in many parts of the Bole district in the Northern Region has caused the deaths of at least three people with an unspecified proportion of destruction to properties, officials of the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO) told Starr News.
The three were killed at a deprived community called Kibilma near Dakurpe about 42kilometres southwest of the district capital after they plunged a tricycle into an uncompleted bridge which had collapsed and washed away by the downpour.
They were returning to the community in the tricycle and got drowned in a small stream known by locals as Yokanba River, the district NADMO officer, Sulemana Kipo explained to Starr News on telephone Sunday.
According to him, the incident has delinked the community and several other villages from the rest of the district with dozens trapped and restricted.
The bridge is part of many road projects in the district that have been abandoned multiple times and only see constructions during electioneering periods.
Kibilma is an isolated chieftaincy hotspot without any basic social amenities. Residents, peasant farmers, and illegal miners are only able to access other parts of the district including the capital, Bole, during dry seasons, with tractors, motorbikes as the only means of transportation.
“Because of the heavy downpour yesterday, a bridge got washed off and upon reaching that part, they fell into the washed off area and the water carried them away,” Kipo said. “They did not know that the river was washed away and so in their attempt to cross the bridge, the water carried all of them with the Motorking far away from the bridge.”
A team of local NADMO officers and residents after hours of exhaustive search in the waters found and retrieved bodies of the victims, Kipo said.
He also said police in the area were informed and preparations are underway to hand over the bodies to their families for burial. They have all been identified.
Kipo mentioned that a full report on the extent of destruction caused in the entire district by the rains hasn’t been established yet but feared the havoc could be devastating.
Incidents caused by rainfall/storm are common in the Bole District. In February last year, hundreds of properties, including government infrastructures, were destroyed after a furious rainstorm that pounded the area. The victims of that incident are yet to receive any relief from the disaster management body in the region.