By Mulengera Reporters
Traders plying the Ayuda-Pakadha-Padea road in Zombo District have expressed concern over the poor state of the road. The 13-kilometer road which is the only road that connects the district to the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo-DRC is impassable due to the heavy rains that are currently being experienced in the area.
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Mike Jacan, a trader in Paidha Town Council said the impassable nature of the road is time-consuming because many trucks loaded with goods get stuck. He said initially it used to take them at most 30 minutes to drive from Paidah to Padea but it now takes days.
According to Kon Nyingambe, a Boda Boda rider operating in Padea town, the road has been in a sorry state for years, adding that their pleas to district authorities seem to have fallen on deaf ears yet the road fetches more revenue for the government.
Melki Onyutha, the LCIII Chairperson of Padea town council notes that on top of paralyzing businesses, patients struggle to access health facilities. He wonders why the process of upgrading the road has been delayed yet it was earmarked by the central government for the upgrade in the third quarter of the 2021/2022 financial year.
Last year, the Chief Engineer in the Ministry of works Samson Bagonza wrote to Zombo District leadership reaffirming the ministry’s position to take over the rehabilitation of the road using the force account policy for road maintenance.
According to the letter, a copy which URN has seen, work on the road was set to commence in the third quarter of this financial year which ended last month.
The LCV Chairperson of Zombo District James Oruna acknowledges the challenge of the poor state of the road, which he blames on the delayed response by the Ministry of Transport and Works.
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But, Francis Abedkane, the Force Account Manager in charge of Northern Uganda blamed the delays on budget constraints. He however says that they plan to start works on the road before the end of this financial year.
The Force Account Policy for road maintenance is being applied for the District, Urban, and Community Access Roads (DUCAR); and the National Roads under the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA)-URN. (For comments on this story, call, text or whatsapp us on 0705579994 [whatsapp line], 0779411734, 0200900416 or email us email@example.com).