Gulu District Prepares Awach Town Board to Host Headquarter

5593 Views Gulu, Uganda

In short
Mapenduzi says they decided to plan early enough to prevent speculative developers from interfering with proper planning of the area with the hope fetching huge compensations from government.

Gulu district has started scouting in Awach Town Board in Aswa County for a suitable location for its administrative headquarters ahead of the planned elevation of Gulu Municipality to city status in July.

The district is also planning for the expansion of the administrative boundaries of the Town Board found 33-Kilometers North East of Gulu Town to a 4-Kilometer radius up from 2-Kilometers currently. 

The District Planning Unit is working jointly with the Faculty of Physical Planning and Survey at Makerere University to accomplish the job. 

Martin Ojara Mapenduzi, the Chairperson Gulu District Local government, says they are already scouting the Town Board to find suitable locations to place local government facilities including lagoons, telecommunications and electricity lines. 

 //Cue in: "What we are now…
Cue out: "…well catered for"//

Mapenduzi says they decided to plan early enough to prevent speculative developers from interfering with proper planning of the area with the hope fetching huge compensations from government. He says they plan to build a separate Sports stadium at the new district headquarters. 
Under the new development, Awach Sub County will also vacate its current headquarter to Gwengdiya Parish where Aswa County headquarters currently operates from. Mapenduzi says the planning will also extend to the newly created sub counties in the district. 

According to Mapenduzi, the ongoing planning opts to hook the new Gulu town onto giant water lines supplying Gulu city from River Nile at Karuma through Unyama Township.

He says geophysical surveys taken in the area indicates that it is cheaper to pump water from River Nile than from Aswa River valley, north of the Town Board due to its elevation above sea level.
//Cue in: "The cost of pumping…
Cue out: "…source is more reliable"//

Parliament is expected to gazette Gulu Municipality, a regional city alongside Mbarara, Mbale and Arua Municipalities. The planned development has triggered economic and political fever in Gulu town.

Politicians are struggling to stay afloat in the city while the business community is anxious to cash in on new business opportunities. 

Patrick Oola Lumumba, the Bar Dege Division LC III chairperson, says he has embarked on early preparations to mint money from the city.
//Cue in: "In literacy we have…
Cue out: "…that will be good"//

The other Lumumba says is the introduction of fruit farming to supply the city with wines. 

//Cue in: "I am seeing more…
Cue out: "…concentrating on Fruits"//

Lucy Laker, a graduate of Public Administration, says she is already warming up for city jobs.Over the last three years, Gulu Municipality has been undergoing robust infrastructure development, thanks to the World Bank funded Uganda Support to Municipal Infrastructure Development Programme USMID.
New roads have been paved and old ones upgraded into bitumen in the five year project.


About the author

Peter Labeja
Peter Labeja has been a practicing journalist for the last 13 years during which he has covered part of the brutal conflict which bedeviled Northern Uganda as well as the painful transition to Peace thereafter. Emerging post conflict issues such as land rights of under privileged widows and orphans, challenges of access to social services in the immediate aftermath of Lord’s Resistance Army conflict in Northern Uganda.

Labeja is now the Northern Uganda Bureau chief in Acholi Sub Region since 2014 - Gulu, Amuru, Nwoya and Omoro districts as well as South Sudan falls within his areas of jurisdiction. He previously worked with The Vision Group for four years.

Labeja’s major career interests are in Climate Change; Agriculture and Environment - natural resources such as Water, Oil and Gas; Transitional Justice; Human Rights, Democracy and Governance as well as South Sudan’s humanitarian crisis. In 2013, Labeja was awarded a prestigious Pan African Journalism Award for excellence in journalism at United Nation’s UNEP headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya for Climate Change and Health Reporting.