Idi Amin Road Turns Into Open Market

5214 Views Arua, Uganda

In short
Hassan Agobia, a firewood vendor says the authorities have been pushing them away from the town.

Idi Amin Road in Oli Division in Arua Municipality is a huge mess less than a year after it was built. Idi Amin Road was built together with Enyau road just in Arua Hill division were under the world Bank funded project to a tune of Shillings 6.1 billion.

However, charcoal and firewood vendors have turned the road into an open market, with some putting their stock on the pavement, while at night others place their goods right in the middle of the road.
Khamis Muzaidi, the LCIII Chairperson of Oli Division says the misuse of the road by residents is unfortunate. He says in Oli Division residents do not feel ownership of such facilities and look at them as government property. 

According to Muzaidi, Idi Amin road looks like it was built more than 10-years-agp.
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Muzaidi says the indifference of residents to such key projects, could scare away development partners.
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Ambrose Ocieng, the Town Clerk of Arua Municipality says the reckless attitude of residents must stop. He says facilities that are being constructed must be protected so that new ones can be constructed instead of wasting resources on repairing damages caused by reckless people.  He has asked the cattle keepers to stop grazing animals on the road.
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However, the traders say they will not vacate the area until the municipal authorities allocate them alternative space to operate from. Hassan Agobia, a firewood vendor says the authorities have been pushing them away from the town.
He says the place where they used to operate from was sold to rich people to construct shops. He says they are ready to move provided they are allocated alternative space.
Zainab Alokore, a charcoal dealer in the area is not amused. She says the place from where they were operating before was taken over by rich people who pushed the away. She says they decided to operate along the road because it is the only suitable place they could find.


About the author

Franklin Ezaruku Draku
Franklin Draku has been a journalist since 2004. In his 12 years of practice, Draku can say he has covered all the journalism beats that exist.

A Uganda Radio Network (URN) staff member since 2010, Draku is based in Arua. This is his second tour of duty in this area. Draku was URN's main education and environment journalist in Kampala for two years 2014 to 2016.

A Kyambogo University graduate, Draku first worked with Arua district based Radio Pacis in 2004. At the station, he was a production assistant, reporter, producer, and then talk show host. In 2008, he joined Transnile Broadcasting Service for a year.

Draku reports intensively on education, tourism, environment and local government. He has twice been a runner up for the National Journalism Awards in 2013 and in 2014.