Teso seeks Shs30b to fix bridges, roads

Friday December 6 2019

Flooded.  A vehicle wades through a flooded

Flooded. A vehicle wades through a flooded road in Malera Sub-county, Bukedea District, on October 18. PHOTO BY GEORGE EMURON 

By SIMON PETER EMWAMU

As rain continues to pound various regions across the country, district council chairpersons in Teso Sub-region have expressed concern over damaged roads saying they need more than Shs30b to fix them.
Mr Simon Peter Erwagu, the LC5 chairperson for Kapelebyong District that was carved out of Amuria District, on Wednesday said they need more than Shs7b to fix the destroyed roads and bridges.

Mr Erwagu said three bridges connecting Kapelebyong District to Okoboi and Apeitolim settlement areas in Napak, have been swept away.
He added that a quotation from the district roads technical team indicates that Shs1b will be needed to fix culverts that have been washed away.
“To cross to Okoboi, you have to connect through three flash rivers brought about by the dangerous running water that has swept away culverts,” Mr Erwagu explained.
He said Acinga bridge that was completely washed away requires more than Shs5b.

Mr Erwagu said many bridges connecting Oditel to Obalanga, Obalanga to Okungur have been washed away complicating movements within and outside the district.
Katakwi chief administrative officer Seraphine Alia said if the rain does not reduce it will necessitate three quarters of the district budget to be allocated to roads alone.
Mr Walter Elakas Okiring, the Katakwi District chairperson, said they need close to Shs10b to have all local roads fixed.
“Fixing bridges is an expensive venture which drains resources, we will need a special road fund,” he said.

Mr Joseph Andrew Kolou, the Member of Parliament for Toroma County, said: “My voters can’t access Magoro from Toroma nor do the others, connectivity from village, sub-county to sub-county is now difficult.”
Mr Kolou said the bridge on Toroma- Magoro road that was recently constructed by Uganda Road Authority, (UNRA) has been destroyed.
“I am afraid the running water may claim lives of desperate people crossing to access health centre services,” he said.
Mr Joseph Opit Okojo, the Serere District chairperson, said the road network could even worsen yet the money allocated to the districts has remained constant.

He said they need close to Shs10b for bridges and upgrading the road network in the area.
Mr Mike Okwii, the secretary for works in Bukedea District, said: “There is no proper connectivity in areas of Kongole, Tajar, Kamutur, Malera, Kolir and Kidongole belts, as the roads are pathetic.”
As district with the meagre budget that is overstretched by other needs, he said they cannot guarantee they can fix the damaged roads in the next financial year alone.

editorial@ug.nationmedia.com

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