Unra starts works on Karuma- Arua road

A bus manoeuvres through a pot hole riddled section of the Karuma-Olwiyo-Pakwach-Nebbi-Arua road. PHOTO/FELIX WAROM OKELLO

What you need to know:

However, last week, Uganda National Roads Authority (Unra) announced that it had started rehabilitation works on the 62.5km road stretching from Olwiyo in Nwoya District to Pakwach Bridge in Pakwach District

Mr Saidi Ali, a truck driver, who regularly travels on the Karuma -Olwiyo-Pakwach-Nebbi- Arua road, hates plying the route because his vehicle constantly breaks down.

Last month, Mr Saidi said he spent more than Shs1m to repair a broken spring of the truck due to the poor state of the road.

However, last week, Uganda National Roads Authority (Unra) announced that it had started rehabilitation works on the 62.5km road stretching from Olwiyo in Nwoya District to Pakwach Bridge in Pakwach District .

The Unra spokesperson, Mr Allan Ssempebwa, said the Shs177b contract has been awarded to National Enterprise Corporation and China Railway Seventh Group in a joint venture.

“The road is fully funded by the government and the works are expected to be completed in 24 months. The contractor is now taking forward maintenance to ensure that the road is mortorable before they start major works,” Ssempebwa said.

Although the road is being renovated, Mr Ali said the repairs will not last long.

Four years ago, Uganda National Roads Authority (Unra) spent billions of money to rehabilitate the road.

Responding to the concerns of the road users, Mr Ssempebwa said: “Our assurance to the public and users is that the road is under full rehabilitation and they should brace for a completely different user experience.”

He added that the works include improving the drainage system, expanding the roadways, and putting new surfaces.

The Nwoya chairman, Mr Emmanuel Orach, said the roadworks will create employment opportunities, while farmers will be able to transport their goods easily once the renovations are done.

He said it will also boost revenue, especially in the upcoming trading centres.

BACKGROUD

In 2001, the government borrowed Shs100b from the International Development Association to upgrade the road to class II bitumen surface, with drainage channels, culverts and shoulders. But most sections are now worn out. The project that started in 2004 and ended in December 2006 from Karuma to Pakwach by SBI International Holdings AG (U), paved way for easy and fast movement. But due to the bad spots, passengers spend 10 hours from Arua to Kampala. The road connects the rest of the country to West Nile Sub-region and neighbouring DR Congo and South Sudan.

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