Gulu Town Residents Protest Poor State of Roads

2736 Views Gulu, Uganda

In short
The residents of Gulu town have spoken out on the increasingly deteriorating state of the roads and demanded that the municipal leaders immediately resolve the problem or face a vote of no confidence.

The residents of Gulu town have spoken out on the increasingly deteriorating state of the roads and demanded that the municipal leaders immediately resolve the problem or face a vote of no confidence.
 
Most of the residents are concerned that pot holes have continued to take over the road surface in the town and yet the municipality authority does not seem to pay any attention to improve the condition of the roads in the town.
 
 Bosco Oyet, a trader at Gulu market complains that the roads are muddy when it rains and extremely dusty when the sun shines. He said the situation is made worse by the town authority sometimes using soil to cover pot holes on the patchy tarmac roads, allowing mud and dust to characterize the streets during rainy and sunny days respectively.
 
 Rose Mary Akol, a roadside foodstuffs dealer says that their area becomes too muddy during rainy days making their potential clients shun their goods thereby affecting their sales. Andrew Larok, a taxi driver who plies the route between the town and Lacor hospital, is bitter that he keeps spending his profit margin on his frequent trips to the garage to fix the broken parts of the vehicle as a result of the numerous pot holes.
 
Arthur Owor, a program director at Media Association of Northern Uganda says that the poor state of the roads prompted them to conduct a research on citizen perception on the road sector in Gulu municipality.
 
The results of the study that interviewed 100 respondents indicate that the road users are irked by many factors including the narrow state of the roads, pot holes and poor drainage. The town dwellers pointed at corruption, weak leadership, shoddy work and limited funds among some of the causes of the poor road network.
 
They also held the municipality mayor largely responsible for the state of the roads followed by municipal engineer, town clerk and LC5 respectively. While Uganda National Roads Authority and MPs take the least blame according to the town residents.
 
The respondents named Lacor road, Jomo Kenyata, Ring road, Andrea Olal, Acholi road and Eden road among the road networks in appalling conditions.
 
Owor said majority of the people interviewed said they often resort to civil action like planting mock gardens on the bad roads due to limited avenues for raising their concerns.
 
//Cue in: “In civil action we…”
Cue out: “…demonstrate against the bad roads.”//
 
George Labeja, the municipality mayor who took the most blame according to the respondents, admitted that the state of the roads in his town is appalling. He however blamed it on his predecessors and the contractors who are awarded road works.
 
Labeja said he had stopped the payment of Brotous and Ash construction companies that were contracted to tarmac and establish drainage along Olia and Owic roads surrounding the bus park due to shoddy work.
 
He however said he was optimistic the state of the roads would improve following an offer by Japanese International Corporation Agency to tarmac the town streets beginning January next year.

It is hoped that the improvement of the road network in the town could propel its aspiration to gain a city status. The town has however witnessed a boom in construction and business due to the currently prevailing peace following decades of an insurgency.