At least 400 students heading for second term holiday to various places are stuck at Nakichumet grazing ground, 65 kilometers from Moroto town after a truck carrying empty soda crates blocked Moroto-Soroti road last evening.
At least 400 students heading to various places in and outside Karamoja are stuck at Nakichumet grazing ground after a truck belonging to Crown Bottlers Limited-PEPSI veered off the Moroto-Soroti road causing a blockade, 65 kilometres from Moroto town.
Trailer registration number UAQ 980W was heading to Kampala last evening at around 6.00pm before it went off road following a trail of thick mud left behind by receding water levels.
So far over 30 cars are lined up including two buses loaded with holiday makers. The road was cleared on Thursday morning after travellers spent over 5 days stuck at different areas. The buses reportedly left Moroto for Kampala and Busia respectively at exactly 10.00pm yesterday.
For several days major roads leading to Karamoja from the South and the East have been rendered impassable after heavy rains in Karamoja in the last two months. The roads include Moroto –Soroti road connecting to Soroti and Lira towns from the East, whereas in the South, Sironko – Moroto via Nakapiripirit road a link to Mbale town.
Joseph Loucho, Mayor Lorengechora town council-Napak district says the students are badly hit with severe shortage of food. He adds that the buses got stuck yesterday night and up to now the travellers have not had breakfast or lunch. He says hawkers have also taken advantage of the bad road to charge a soda at UGX 4000 from UGX 1000 at the nearest trading centre, 20 kilometres away.
Loucho says even the grader deployed by Uganda National Roads Authority-UNRA is stuck in the mud, an issue that has forced the operator to flee for fear of his dear life. He asks government to do spot repairs of the road. He has appealed to the army to deploy at the scene to take care of the vulnerable girl students tonight.
This is the 11th time in the last two months travelers get stuck at several spots on the two roads.
George Mwidu, UNRA Station Engineer-Moroto, could not pick his call when contacted, however an insider says the authority was finding it difficult to clear the road all the time due to the unprecedentedly rains. He says they do not even have fuel for the towing equipment advising the travellers not to risk plying Karamoja roads till government clears them.
ACP Okot Obwona, regional Police Commander-North Eastern, says equipment to rescue travellers is being mobilized. He adds that some good Samaritans have contributed some fuel to make sure the students reach their destinations. He feels optimistic that the road will be usable by the close of today.
On Sironko-Moroto road via Nakapiriripirit at least over 20 trucks and small cars have remained stuck in Pian Upe game reserve for over 10 days after a marble lorry overturned in the middle of the road.
students on holiday
nakichumet grazing ground