Locals protest over dust on Gulu-Nimule highway

Monday March 4 2013

By Martin Okudi & CISSY MAKUMBI


At least 200 traders at Atiak trading centre in Paboo Sub-county, Amuru District, on Friday afternoon blocked the Gulu-Nimule road for close to two hours. The traders accused Chico Construction Company of causing endless dust on the road which they said was a health hazard to the people in the area.

The traders converged at Atiak trading centre and blocked the road using logs and heavy stones that prevented hundreds of road users from crossing to either sides of the road. Chico Construction Company is a Chinese company contracted to tarmac the Gulu, Atiak and Nimule road. The demonstrators were supported by some traders caught up in Atiak trading centre during the botched market day.

The chaos left over 500 road users stranded, including 200 heavy trucks and passenger service vehicles.
The chairperson of Atiak Development Association, Mr Ben Nyeko, said the dust had made customers shun their businesses as their merchandise was covered in dust.

The officer in-charge of crime at Atiak Police Post, Mr Andrew Abal, held a meeting with the traders and the officials from the company and advised the two to reach a consensus. Officials from the company present at the meeting apologised to the residents, and promised to look into it.