Road Contractor Does Not Buy From Us-Hoima Farmers

2174 Views Hoima, Uganda

In short
Residents hoped to cash in from the company by vending their produce.

Residents of Buseruka and other areas along the Kaiso-Tonya road in Hoima are protesting the refusal Kolin Construction Company, a Turkish road construction firm to buy their produce.
Kolin Construction Company was contracted by government in 2010 to tarmac the 92 kilometer Hoima-Kaiso-Tonya road stretch that links to oil exploration sites in Kaiso-Tonya in Buseruka Sub County.
Residents hoped to cash in from the company by vending their produce.

However, farmers claim that they have unsuccessfully attempted to sell their agricultural produce at the Kolin construction camp in Kabaale village. Johbosco Wandera, a farmer from Nyakasinina village says last year he attempted to sell bananas and cassava to Construction Company but he was blocked. Wandera says he was told by that he could not sell his produce to the camp unless he was contracted.

Wandera says this is an indirect way of eliminating subsistence farmers like him, since they can’t raise the quantities of food needed.

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Venance Kabalimu also a resident of Nyakasinina village says at first he used to sell some of his bananas to the camp but was later told to stop as the supply of food was contracted out. Kabalimu, formerly a casual laborer on the road says as residents they have benefited nothing from the road so far.

Kabalimu notes that other than selling their agricultural produce to the contractors, the employment from which they would benefit has been marred by lack of pay. He says he left the road work because he was not paid. In a telephone interview Erdogan Dogani, the project Manager Kolin Construction admitted they buy food on a contractual basis.

He reveals that they have local and Turkish food suppliers. He did not explain however if they have some suppliers from Buseruka, as he hung up saying he was in a meeting.