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Construction of 34.8Km Road Stalls in Lamwo :: Uganda Radionetwork
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Construction of 34.8Km Road Stalls in Lamwo

According to Patrick Okot, the Palabek Abera Sub-County Chairperson, only 18.5 kilometers out of the 34.8 kilometers road have been worked on by the contractor since the agreement was signed in 2022.
25 Feb 2024 18:18
A section of the 34.8 Km Palabek Abera-Gem community access road that has been abandoned by the contractor.

Audio 3

The construction of the 34.8 km community access road connecting the sub-counties of Palabek Abera and Palabek Gem in Lamwo District has stalled.

This comes three months after the contractor, Denovo Construction and Engineering Services Ltd, a local firm from Northern Uganda abandoned the site.

The road work valued at 2.9 billion shillings is meant to connect the parishes of Labworoyeng, Pawena, Laliya, Pawic, and Lagot Anyara to Beyogoya Junction Point.

It's funded jointly by the Government of Uganda and the World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA) under the Project for Development Response to Displacement Impacts Project (DRDIP).

Uganda Radio Network established that the contractor was handed the site on November 7th, 2022, for a six-month contract period.

However, according to Patrick Okot, the Palabek Abera Sub-County Chairperson, only 18.5 kilometers out of the 34.8 kilometers of road have been worked on by the contractor since the agreement was signed in 2022.

Okot notes that the contractor first took two months without carrying out any work adding that when he took over the site in January 2023, he again disappeared in April before returning in September.

According to him, the contractor after carrying out bush clearing, and road pavement, left the project site mostly on the side of Palabek Abera Sub-County in September last year and only returned in January this year to spread marram.

Okot says the road is currently in a bad state and is greatly affecting business between the two sub-counties since goods can't be transported.

Luo bite

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He called on the urgent intervention of the local government to task the contractor to deliver on the project.

Geoffrey Osborn Oceng, the Lamwo Resident District Commissioner says he has already informed the Chief Administrative Officer and the DRDIP Focal Engineer for an urgent meeting to establish why the road work was abandoned.

Oceng says the district is in a race to absorb the funds for the access road construction given the fact that the DRDIP project is soon coming to an end.

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Oceng notes that the delayed completion of the road is hindering the connectivity between the two sub-counties that have for years been known for agricultural productivity.

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Ceasar Nyeko Okema, the Managing Director of Denovo Construction and Engineering Services Ltd however refuted allegations that they abandoned the site arguing that they instead encountered numerous challenges that affected their work.

Okema notes that for the greater part of last year, the construction firm encountered challenges of heavy rainfall that affected road works and also filled up their borrow pits which took a long time to dry.

“There was heavy rain in this area last year and you cannot do road works when it's raining. For tarmac, you can work on it but not on Marram Road and that’s what delayed the road works,” Okema told URN in an interview over the weekend.

Okema notes that the contract for the completion of the road work has been extended up to June 30 this year adding that they will deliver within the remaining period.

“Our road equipment is on the ground currently doing the work and we hope by June 30, we will have finished,” he said.

Meanwhile, local leaders in Cubu Parish in Palabek Abera Sub- County have also raised concerns over the procurement of only 10 out of 15 solar streetlights under the DRDIP Project. The solar lights costing 56.7 million shillings were installed in selected streets in Cubu Parish by Epicenter Africa, one of the implementing partners of DRDIP. 

Members of the Cubu Sim Sim Production and Marketing group, who are the beneficiaries of the project said the agreement indicated the installation of 15 solar streetlights and have demanded answers.

DRDIP, a World Bank-funded project became effective in the country in June 2017 and provides direct income support to the poor and vulnerable within refugee hosting districts. 

The project was however extended by six months this year and expires in June.