Wednesday July 30 2014

UNRA should be clear on road construction schedule

We highly appreciate government’s proposed East African commercial highway that will uplift the standard of living in the areas affected by the road construction.
However, Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) should sensitise affected residents on real proposed plan-work schedule and also pay them in time. For example, there is a proposed fly-over and a giant round-about opposite my village house in Buvunya, Najjembe Sub-county, Buikwe District. In the area, about 20 houses and a huge piece of land belonging to peasants will be destroyed to give way for the road beautification.
UNRA officials have also advised residents in the area against planting crops like bananas and coffee. Though the residents here are purely depending on agriculture for survival, they were advised to plant only beans and maize.
Road demarcation in the area started way back in early 2011 and the second phase started this year.
UNRA should come up with a clear and documented work plan and also pay locals early enough in order to look for alternative land elsewhere to continue with their agriculture uninterruptedly.
Affected residents are not sure when the construction will resume. To make matters worse, they are scared by the UNRA officials demarcation style.
Maybe due to lack of demarcating sticks, these officials sometimes demarcate the gazetted areas with painting crops or stones giving an impression that the construction is resuming any time.
To avoid unnecessary demonstrations in future, the affected people should be paid in advance or be allowed to continue with the cultivation.
Emma Masumbuko,
Najjembe Sub-county