the 61.5 kilometer Acholibur-Puranga road in Pader district came to a halt for
the better part of Wednesday morning due to the bad state of the road. Several
travelers spent the night in the cold along the road because of a truck that
got stuck a few meters away from Pajule Town council, blocking more than 30
trucks from Lira and Kitgum districts.
Sections of the busy road in Pajule Town Council have been
in a poor state since March. The road is a corrugated surface, potholes and poor
drainage. The situation worsened
recently because of the heavy rains pounding the region.
Brilliant Tito Okello, the Pajule Sub county LC III
Chairperson told Uganda Radio Network in an interview on Wednesday that Uganda
National Roads Authority have for long abandoned maintenance works on the road. He says heavy rains being experienced in the region coupled with heavily laden
trucks that ply the route have left it messy and impassible.
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Okello says due to the bad roads, drivers have made a diversion into the
community to avoid bad spots, which has also taken a toll on community access
roads. He appeals to UNRA officials to intervene and carry out maintenance works to
ensure normal traffic flow resumes.
Adam Wanjala, a businessman from Mbale says
they have now been stuck on the road for a week after their truck tipped over
with several tones of groundnut shells at a bad spot in Pajule Sub County. Wanjala
says they have used up all the money in their possession for feeding and
loading groundnut shells destined for Mount Meru Factory as fuel.
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Lucy Akidi, a resident of Gwengkoro village in Lapul Sub-county says drivers go
through her compound and garden to escape bad spots in Pajule Town council. She
says her potatoes and sorghums have since been destroyed by vehicles and calls
for compensation from the local leaders and UNRA.
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Bosco Ojara, another resident of Lapul Sub County, says with access roads
within the community destroyed, there will be difficulty in transporting patients
for medical treatment and candidates who are supposed to resume classes on
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Felix Tumukunde Beinamaryo, the UNRA Kitgum Station Manager acknowledges the
poor state of the road but notes that they cannot conduct full repairs because it's due for upgrading to tarmac by a different contractor. Puranga-Acholi bur road is part of the
Rwekunye-Masindi Port road that runs to Apac and Lira road network measuring
about 256 kilometers that is set to be tarmacked.
Beinamryo says they are currently conducting spot improvement to ensure
resumption of normal traffic flow along the road until the contractor is on
site. He however faulted some truck drivers who carry excess tonnage of logs
from neighboring South Sudan for the continued destruction of the road.
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Government has already secured about Shillings 753.5 billion for construction
of Rwenkunye-Apac-Lira-Puranga Road (191km). Efforts to secure funding for the
construction of Puranga – Acholibur road (61.5km) are ongoing.