Key Karamoja Roads Cut Off Again

8443 Views Moroto, Uganda

In short
Over 80 vehicles and their occupants are stuck along Moroto-Soroti road at Nakichumet general grazing ground following a severe back-flow of water from Arecek dam in Napak district over the past three days.

Major roads leading to Karamoja from the South and the East have been rendered impassable for several days. The affected roads include Moroto –Soroti road connecting to Soroti and Lira towns from the East and Sironko – Moroto via Nakapiripirit road a link to Mbale town. Over 80 vehicles and their occupants are stuck along Moroto-Soroti road at Nakichumet general grazing ground following a severe back-flow of water from Arecek dam in Napak district over the past three days.


The water measures up to 2 meters high and stretches over a Kilometer. Other areas include Komoo valley and Lomuriangeleper alias Logitho, the place of nutritious grass for high milk production in cows according to the Karimojong. A gate way bus returning to Moroto swerved off the road at Lomuriangeleper on Monday causing a blockade along the road. Passengers had to trek over 15 kilometers to wait for Fuso trucks to drop them in Moroto town.
 
At least 20 trucks and small vehicles are stuck in Pian Upe game reserve along the Sironko-Moroto road via Nakapiriripirit for the last seven days. A marble truck overturned along in the middle of the road cutting off traffic. Apart from civilian vehicles getting stuck, the convoy of the first lady Janet Museveni spent over 15 hours along the route on its way back to Kampala until a UPDF armored car rescued the fleet.


This was the second time; the convoy got stuck after Moroto-Soroti incident at Komoo valley, 80 kilometers from Moroto town in the same week. This is the 10th time in the last two months travelers are getting stuck at several spots on the two roads. Generally, most Karamoja towns appear to be deserted and the business community has lost morale after most of them lost their merchandise to water and perishable merchandise.

George Mwidu, Acting Uganda National Roads Authority Station Engineer Moroto says they have secured a grader from Moroto district to tow the vehicles by Wednesday evening. He describes the situation as unfortunate and appeals to road users to remain calm as the situation is being handled. He adds that a contractor has been procured by government to carry out emergency repairs in the next 4 weeks.

Anthony Lemukol, the chief of Irriri Sub County in Napak district says at least 3 people have died on the road while being taken to Matany Hospital for treatment in the last 5 weeks. He wonders why the contractor procured by government has delayed to carry out emergency repairs on the road.

Felestino Bataringaya, the Officer in Charge traffic Napak district says they have dispatched equipment to rescue travelers stuck on the road. He attributes the road damage to incessant rains that has taken toll in the areas of Arecek dam belt. He appeals to the public to be patient as government sends a contractor anytime to carry out repairs.

 

About the author

Olandason Wanyama
Olandason Wanyama is the Karamoja region bureau chief. Amudat, Nakapiripirit, Moroto, Abim, Kotido and Kaabong districts fall under his docket. Wanyama has been a URN staff member since 2012.

The former teacher boasts of 20 years journalism experience. Wanyama started out as a freelance writer for the Daily Monitor newspaper in 1991 in Entebbe. Wanyama also wrote for the army publication Tarehe Sita, the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) magazine and The New Vision. While not on the beat, Wanyama taught child soldiers at Uganda Airforce School-Katabi.

Wanyama is very interested in conflict reporting, climate change, education, health and business reporting. He is also an avid photographic chronicler of vanishing tribal life in the East African region.