President Museveni yesterday left West Nile after campaigning in the sub-region for three days, repeating old promises of tarmacking Nebbi-Goli-Paidha-Warr-Vurra road at the border to ease transportation of goods to the market.
The road is filled with potholes. Many people have died in accidents on the road, especially at Jukia while a lot of merchandise has been lost.
During the campaign trail in 2010, Mr Museveni made the same promise to tarmack the 119km road.
To date, it has remained in a bad state except for the ongoing routine maintenance by Uganda National Roads Authority (Unra).
While reading the memorandum on behalf of the West Nile leaders, the State Minister for Internal Affairs and Terego East MP, Mr Mario Obiga Kania, told Mr Museveni: “People would like to hear from you about the status on the section from Agung up to Pakwach which is in a very bad state. It would be good if we get an assurance from you. We would like you to make assurance on this.”
He added: “Government is already working on Koboko-Yumbe-Moyo road. A comment from you on the other road sectors from Wandi-Terego-Yumbe and Wandi Rhino Camp will be well received. The new districts of Terego and Madi-Okollo do not have road equipment and a word from you will be excellent. And the districts without health facilities should be attended to.”
In his response during a radio broadcast later, Mr Museveni said: “I still have a debt for the road from Nebbi –Goli on the border to Paidha and then the road that comes to Vurra. That road will have to be done. Then the road between here (Manibe) to Terego-Yumbe and then from Pakwach to Rhino Camp will be done. These are the main roads to be tarmacked in West Nile.”
He said the government will also work on Laropi-Moyo-Yumbe-Koboko roads.
“We did Karuma-Olwiyo-Pakwach-Arua to Oraba. And the bad stretch from Agung will be worked on because information from Unra is that they have got a contractor to rehabilitate it.”
Recently the Zombo chairman, Mr John Urwiny, told Daily Monitor: “The road from Goli-Paidha to Warr-Vurra deserves tarmacking because it links to DR Congo through Padea border. The effects of the heavy trucks crossing to Congo has left the road in a poor state and I am surprised there are no plan to tarmack it.”
On energy, Mr Museveni said the region is served by a small 3.5 MW Nyagak Power dam in Zombo District.
“We have extended power to many parts of West Nile starting with Nyagak. But then the power has been unreliable. That is why we built Karuma. The only issue is now to build 132 Kv line to bring the electricity here. Otherwise, the wires are now in many places,” he added.
The State Minister for Privatisation and Koboko Municipality MP, Ms Evelyn Anite, said: “The Opposition has been hitting us on the issue of intermittent electricity but now since there has been groundbreaking to connect the region to the national grid, we hope we shall now develop well.”
The inadequate power supply has discouraged investors to establish factories in the sub-region.
Some of the factories such as for beef and juice processing in Arua City, Agu Water in Zombo and Malaika Bread factory in Arua are not operating optimally while others have closed.