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Gulu City Road Gang Members Protest Nonpayment

The road gangs are charged with ensuring sanitation and hygiene within the city streets through sweeping, collecting garbage and waste, slashing, grooming among others. Each of them is paid 170,000 Shillings per month.
Some of the road gangs at Gulu City yard. Photo by Emmy Daniel Ojara

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123 road gangs in Gulu City are protesting over the failure to clear their allowances for the last three months.  

The road gangs who are mainly elderly women and single mothers say that they were last paid their wages in August but to date, no payment has been made and without any communication from the city authorities despite continuing to work.  

The road gangs are charged with ensuring sanitation and hygiene within the city streets through sweeping, collecting garbage and waste, slashing, grooming among others. Each of them is paid 170,000 Shillings per month.

The road gangs told URN on conditions of anonymity for fear of reprimand from the City authorities that they are living desperately with some of them even spending nights on empty stomachs while others have defaulted on their house rents.  

One of the elderly women says that she is on the verge of being evicted from her rented house for defaulting to pay 40,000 Shillings for her rent in the last two months.  

Another source who operates along Ring Road noted that she is surviving on donations from well-wishers to provide for her nine children because she completely has no money to buy food and other necessities.  

Another woman who sweeps in the Cereleno revealed that she has resorted to picking the leftovers on the street side.

The source added that on top of non-payment, they are also exposed to diseases due to unhealthy work conditions. She says that the city authorities have also not provided them with protective gear such as hand gloves, gumboots, face masks, and aprons among others. 

Vox Pop of Women. Luo 

//Cue in: ‘’wan peko wa…   

Cue out: …dong itiyo ngo’’//    

“We are mangling with the varsities of the hazardous wastes and if the protective equipment is not given as it is now, what can we do? People are contracting the disease and the city instead of supporting us we are left just like that to find our solution”

Gulu City Town Clerk, Moses Otimong says that the road gangs have not been paid for the last two months but blamed this on the delayed release of road funds. 

Michael Rubanga, the Gulu City Principal Health Inspector on the other hand said that the City has already procured personal protective equipment for the road gangs are is set to distribute them soon.  

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