The Katarko bridge which linked many parts of Borno, Yobe Adamawa, and Gombe states collapsed on Tuesday morning following a heavy downpour and flooding that erupted.

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This is coming barely 24 hours when the only safer Maiduguri-Damaturu-Biu road and bridge near Buratai village also collapsed after killing a pregnant woman and sweeping away three vehicles last Sunday.

This development has compelled passengers and motorists coming from Biu to Maiduguri to divert, and passes through Darazau or Bakoka towns of Gombe state before reaching Potiskum to Damaturu on Tuesday, as the Katarko axis, is no longer accessible due to the incident. 

Confirming the collapse of Katarko bridge on Tuesday,  the Yobe State Executive Secretary of State Emergency Management Agency, SEMA, Dr. Mohammed Goje told our Correspondent in an interview that the incident is a very sad one, as thousands of affected motorists and passengers would encounter hardship while reaching their destinations.

“In the early hours of 30th August 2022, Yobe SEMA received the sad news of Katarko Bridge being disconnected from the main road. 

“This is the bridge and only road linking Damaturu to Gujba, Gulani, and Biu local government areas.

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“Already there is an incidence of Flooding in Mutai, Buni Yadi, and Gulani Communities which calls for major concerns, especially in Mutai. 

“Yobe SEMA has already reached out to the military to provide a barricade in Katarko as more civilians are trooping the scene to avoid civilian casualty.

“While this may affect immediate live-saving support to communities already affected by Flood and or recovering from conflict, Yobe State Government is improvising alternative routes to reach to persons of concerns as well as reconnect the affected communities.” Dr. Goje stated.

He added that the Yobe State Government under the leadership of Governor Mai Mala Buni is partnering with Save The Children International (SCI), a Non- Governmental Organization to support flood victims, as each household is to receive N33,000 monthly for the period of five (5) months.

Likewise, the SEMA Boss said, the victims are to be enrolled under the Yobe State Contributory Health Management Agency, YSCHMA to receive a prescribed package of healthcare services for one year period. 

Goje revealed that the gesture became necessary after a stakeholders meeting that his agency had with SCI in Damaturu, the state capital recently.

Vanguard gathered that with the deplorable condition and inaccessibility of Maiduguri -Damaturu- Biu road which is about 250kms drive, and the collapse of the Katarko bridge, motorists now have no option but to take the over 500kms drive through another axis which is the only accessible one for now.