Drivers Protest Delays to Rehabilitate Lira-Apac Highway

1421 Views Lira, Uganda

In short
The 140 Km highway stretching from Lira town via Aduku town through Apac town up to Masindi Port was rendered impassable about a month ago, after all the bridges were submerged by water.

Motorists plying the Lira-Apac highway are protesting delays by Uganda National Roads Authority-UNRA to rehabilitate the Highway. The 140 Km highway stretching from Lira town via Aduku to Masindi Port was rendered impassable about a month ago, after all the bridges were submerged by water. Two weeks ago, drivers protested the poor state of the Highway but resumed work after getting assurances from UNRA that the rehabilitation work would start within one week.

However, since then nothing has been done forcing drivers to find alternative routes. Transport from Lira town up to Apac through Aduku Township, has doubled from 9000 shillings to between 15, 000 and 18,000 shillings. Patrick Okello, the chairperson of Taxi Drivers operating along Lira-Apac highway is concerned over  delays by UNRA to rehabilitate the highway. Okello says that the drivers are experiencing persistent breakdowns of their vehicles because of the appalling state of the road.

Jacob Otim, another driver wonders why government has paid a deaf ear to their concerns over the poor state of the Highway. He explains that many drivers have decided to abandon work because of the current state of the Highway. Otim appeals to Apac district authorities to rehabilitate the highway since UNRA has failed to come to their rescue. Bob Okae, the Apac district LCV chairperson wants government his district mandate to manage all roads under its jurisdiction including the highway. He claims that most of the roads under the management of his district are properly maintained.

Okae says that since the highway became impassable residents are struggling with high transport and essential commodity prices. Samuel Muhoozi, the UNRA Lira station engineer attributes the delay to rehabilitate the highway on lengthy procurement procedures. He explains that UNRA is still hunting for a contractor, adding that work will start after one is hired.

 

About the author

Ronald Odongo
Ronald Odongo is the URN Bureau Chief Lira, Northern Uganda.A multimedia Journalist, Media trainer and investigative enthusiast. Lira,Apac,Dokolo,Oyam, Kwania, Otuke, Amolatar,and Alebtong districts fall under his docket. Odongo has been a URN staff member since 2012 though he had been a contributor since 2006.

Odongo started out as a bicycle reporter for Radio Unity in 2004. He was Radio Rhino FM's senior reporter, Luo news anchor and station producer between 2006 and 2011. Odongo started out as a freelance writer for Uganda Radio Network in 2006.

Odongo is particularly interested in reporting on community health, and education concerns. Good governance and human rights beats are dear to Odongo as a former Lord’s Resistance Army rebels captive 1996-1998.