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Over 700 Road Signs Vandalized in Acholi and Lango Sub Regions

Henry Komakech, the Manager Uganda National Roads Authority –UNRA Gulu Office told URN in an interview that the vandalism of the road signage has been very rampant along the major roads in the region from 2020 to date due to the rising demand for metals by scrap dealers.
One of the Road Signs Along Gulu -Juba Highway Kocked Down by a Car -Photo by Jesse Johnson James

Audio 2

A total of 796 road signs have been vandalized along the 952 kilometres national road network in Acholi and Lango Sub –Regions by suspected scrap dealers. The vandalism estimated to cost Shillings 650 million occurred between 2020 to date. 

Henry Komakech, the Manager Uganda National Roads Authority –UNRA Gulu Office told URN in an interview that the vandalism of the road signage has been very rampant along the major roads in the region from 2020 to date due to the rising demand for metals by scrap dealers. Komakech says it has been extremely difficult to apprehend the culprits since they normally operate in the night when no one is watching them.

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According to Komakech, the vice has rendered the roads dangerous as it exposes the road users to the risk of crashes since they are unable to follow the traffic rules.

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Komakech says that following an inventory exercise they carried out last month they submitted a report to their headquarters and requested for Shillings 650 million to replace the road signs.

He also condemned the act of stealing the road signage, saying the perpetrators are doing it out of ignorance. He appealed to the responsible authorities to carry out massive sensitization against the vice.

Phillips Okidi, a resident of Bardege –Layibi Division in Gulu City, says that so far dozens of road signs along Gulu –Juba Highway have been vandalized by the criminal gangs. He revealed that the criminals cut the poles and later sell them as scrap.

Okidi says due to the rampant vice, they have experienced a lot of road crashes mainly at Forgod Trading Center –just a few meters to St. Mary’s Hospital Lacor. The latest road crash according to Okidi occurred on Wednesday morning when two motorcycles had a head-on collision while one was trying to join the main road and the other was speeding towards Lacor Hospital.

Geoffrey Ajuma, the Nwoya District Communication Officer revealed that the vice is very rampant in the district. He says that in November last year, the district in partnership with UNRA trained vigilantes to help report the cases of vandalism to the relevant authorities but that the vigilantes have since remained inactive.

He says the stealing of the road signage has greatly affected road users who normally drive or ride at night since they would not be in the know of the features ahead of them like humps, pedestrian crossing lanes, wildlife areas, among others.