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Napak Road Protests Paralyze Transport

The LCIII Chairperson of Iriiri Sub County, Ben Peter Loburo, says residents were angered when they saw the road reduce from 30 meters wide to only 16 meters. He explains that they were told by the both the contractor and the officials from Uganda National Roads Authority, UNRA that the road would be wide enough to manage the urban setting.
Army and Police try to restore order in Iriiri.

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Transport along Soroti- Moroto Road was on Tuesday paralyzed as residents in Iriiri Sub County, Napak district protested against changes in the rood design.

 No Chinese vehicle was allowed to move to either direction of the road since it was blocked.

Only a handful of vehicles were allowed to cross to Moroto and Soroti. The angry residents put up placards and barricades on the road after realizing the initial plan for the construction of Soroti- Moroto Road had been tempered with. 

Emmanuel Apollo, one of the passengers aboard a Noah to Moroto says it took them about 30 minutes to negotiate their way out of Iriiri town. 

“People were charged and hurled stones that actually scared us all in the car. But as we moved closer, they allowed us to continue since we didn’t carry any road workers”, he said.

The LCIII Chairperson of Iriiri Sub County, Ben Peter Loburo, says residents were angered when they saw the road reduce from 30 meters wide to only 16 meters. He explains that they were told by the both the contractor and the officials from Uganda National Roads Authority, UNRA that the road would be wide enough to manage the urban setting. 

According to Loburo, people demolished their houses to pave way for the road without even compensation something he notes flared the anger.

They are also furious over the absence of street lights provisions on the road like it is in Ngariam and Katakwi. 

// cue in “People went ahead…

Cue out…their houses”//

One of the officials from Chinese Construction Company which is working on the road said on condition of anonymity that the residents were incited by their local leaders. He explained that the space said to be left by the contractor will be used as pavement. 

On the issue of street lights, the official said it is too early to comment on such matters when the road is under construction. 

The District Police Commander, Napak, Michael Ongica says the situation has been contained adding that no arrests have been made yet. 

The physical road works on Soroti- Moroto Road is more than 95% complete. Only urban towns especially on the Karamoja side; Iriiri, Lorengechora, Kangole are still under construction. 

However, by March, 274 families affected on the road construction had not yet received their compensation. The road construction commenced in November 2016 and its due for completion.