El-Nino Rains Cut off Access to Karamoja

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In short
Heavy rains have washed away sections of the Soroti-Amuria-Abim road, effectively cutting off the northern part of Karamoja from the rest of eastern Uganda. The rains have also washed off sections of Soroti-Katakwi-Moroto road.

Heavy rains have washed away sections of the Soroti-Amuria-Abim road, effectively cutting off the northern part of Karamoja from the rest of eastern Uganda.

The rains have also washed off sections of Soroti-Katakwi-Moroto road.

The El-nino rains have swept of the road at Obalanga and Alito Trading Centres, leaving motorist operating between Soroti and Kotido stranded.

John Baptist Muzibira, the Soroti Region Uganda National Roads Authority manager says already a team is on the ground to assess the damage.

"We are working to get a temporary solution as we seek to find a long-term solution to the problems," says Muzibira.

According to Muzibira, the mostly sandy Soroti-Moroto road has been washed off at Arapi, Corner Iriiri and Katakwi. Also most roads in the region have been rendered impassible due to the topography of the area.

The road blockage has caused a long pile-up of vehicles plying the Soroti-Katakwi and Moroto road and also Soroti-Amuria and Kotido road.

Drivers heading to Kotido district from Soroti or Mbale, have been forced to take longer routes through Lira to Abim and then to Kotido. This has led to increase transport fare from Shillings 20,000 per passenger to Shillings 35,000.

On Tuesday, several vehicles including the Gateway Bus from Kaabong, were stuck at Obalanga and Alito Trading Centres, forcing passengers and business men to offload their luggage and push vehicles to safety.

Sadrak Wasonga, a businessman from Mbale district dealing in fresh foods say their items perishes on the road since it now takes two days to reach Kotido, instead of the usual five hours.

Cue in: "Our journey from Mbale to Kotido...
Cue out: .... government should help us."

Drivers told our reporter that they spend more than four hours maneuvering through the muddy sections of the road between Amuria and Abim district, a distance which they have been covering in about an hour.

Michael Oboma, a driver from Soroti district, says the worst sections are in Obalanga Sub County in Amuria district, where there are many gullies.

Cue in: "The Road form Kotido ...
Cue out: ....people can push the vehicle on the road"

UNRA in April contracted KOL Services Ltd to rehabilitate roads within Amuria district  within a period of 16 months, but the firm abandoned the work two months ago.

Stephen Luwum, the director KOL Services Ltd, says they could not go on because of the heavy rains.

 

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