Accommodation Challenges Baffle Civil Servants in Elegu Township

Wallace Bindeeba, the National Citizenship and Immigration Control team leader at Elegu, says that 17 of his staff members currently share very tiny rooms or rent in unsafe makeshift structures.
11 Oct 2021 11:31
URA and staff members of Customs and Immigration Control interact with Foreign Affairs Committee of Parliament Elegu One-Stop Border Post. Photo by Dominic

Audio 3

Government employees at Elegu Town Council in Amuru District, which border South Sudan are baffled with accommodation challenges. Employees of eleven government Ministries, Departments and Agencies-MDAs work at the multi-billion One-Stop Border Post.

These include Uganda Revenue Authority - URA; Directorate of National Citizenship and Immigration Control, External Security Organization- ESO, Internal Security Organization – ISO, the Ministry of East Africa, Uganda National Bureau of Standards - UNBS, Uganda Police - UPF, Uganda Wildlife Authority – UWA, Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence – CMI, and the Ministry of Health among others.

However, the employees say the poor infrastructure development at the border coupled with the devastating annual flash floods has made access to conducive accommodation very difficult. Wallace Bindeeba, the National Citizenship and Immigration Control team leader at Elegu, says that 17 of his staff members currently share very tiny rooms or rent in unsafe makeshift structures.      

//Cue in..."As Immigration officers….”

Cue out… town of Elegu.”//

Bindeeba explains that due to the risky nature of the work some of the personnel such as tax collection, impounding smuggled goods and arresting smugglers among others compromises their safety and security.

//Cue in..."And definitely in….”

Cue out…the same community.”//

Other affected personnel are the health workers who were seconded to work at Elegu Port Health to aid management of public health especially during the outbreak of the global pandemic, Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19).

Michael Lakony, the Amuru District LC 5 Chairperson, says that they handpicked and deployed seven health workers led by a Senior Clinician at Port Health. He, however, says that their accommodation is a menace. Since 2020, some of the workers are temporarily residing at the designated refugee collection center. 

The District Police Commander, Joseph Nsabimana observed that while a pocket of crimes still exists at the border, they have not recorded serious crimes with the exception of isolated cross border crimes.

//Cue in..."The current security….”  

Cue out…in Southern Sudan.”//

During her visit to Amuru, then State Minister for Primary Healthcare, Dr Joyce Moriku Kaducu, disclosed that the Ministry had already endorsed the construction of a level III Health Centre at Elegu that will comprise staff quarters to address the problem of staff accommodation.

The workers explain that their efforts through their well-coordinated work earns the  Government a daily revenue of between Shillings 14 to 15 million and a monthly collection of between Shillings 400-450 million. They want the Government to consider their safety and security. Ivan Kakaire, the URA Regional Manager told URN that they clear between 280-300 trucks each day.