UNRA fails to Beat December Deadline for Vurra-Arua-Koboko-Oraba Road

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One of the affected buildings to be demolished Ronald Batre

One of the affected buildings to be demolished Login to license this image from 1$.

In short
The 92-kilometer road passes through the districts of Arua, Maracha and Koboko to Oraba border between Uganda and South Sudan. President Yoweri Museveni launched the Ugx 132 billion project in 2012 and was expected to be complete within 30 months that ended in July, 2014. UNRA extended the deadline to December after failing to beat the initial target.

Construction works on Vurra-Arua-Koboko-Oraba road is expected to delay due to compensation squabbles between the Uganda National Roads Authority and property owners.

The 92-kilometer road passes through the districts of Arua, Maracha and Koboko to Oraba border between Uganda and South Sudan. President Yoweri Museveni launched the Ugx 132 billion project in 2012 and was expected to be complete within 30 months that ended in July, 2014. UNRA extended the deadline to December after failing to beat the initial target.

However, several structures remain standing, with just a few days left to the deadline.

Since the works were not completed as expected Uganda National Roads Authority extended the deadline to December which is about to end but still the affected structures have remained without demolition. URN has learnt that many of the affected individuals did not have Tax Identification Numbers, a basis of which they would be compensated.

Some of the properties that remain without compensation include a double storied building opposite Arua regional referral hospital, a commercial building owned by a family of Muslim community leaving in Egypt, double storied Terego house and about half kilometer stretch of land that is been used for nursery bed production in Aroi sub County.

The developments have attracted a lot of anxiety amongst members of the public who are now questioning whether the contractor Chongqing International Construction Corporation (CICO), from China will be able to finish the work.

Genesis Acema, one of the area residents demands that UNRA openly explains the status of the road to the citizens. He was supported by Solomon Toko, a Councilor in Arua municipality who questioned why government cannot allow the contractors to go ahead with the works as they sort out the pending compensations.

But when contacted Wilson Kafifi, UNRA station engineer for Arua while says everything on the side of government is already finalized, the absence of Tax Identification Numbers delayed the process. He however adds that the process of registering for TINs is already underway.
 
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However Mark Lee, the manager of CICO, the Chinese company contracted to construct the road says for them they are ready to complete the work if government and the property owners finish the issue of compensation. He says this is because they cannot demolish any property without compensation.
 
The project includes the construction of eight (8) new bridges, four (4) concrete box culverts, drainage and ancillary works.

 

About the author

Ronald Batre
Ronald Batre is so passionate about journalism that he did not wait to finish school before he started his career. This is how he started with Radio Paidha, The West Niler, Daily Monitor newspapers and later with Radio Pacis as Assistant News Editor.

To be allowed to practice his passion, Batre had struck a deal with his parents. He would complete his education. He kept his word and went through school while suporting himself with his journalism.

Entering the workplace so young attuned Batre to the plight of the youth and those who seek employment. Apart from that, he is interested in reporting about politics, local government, business and the environment. A witness to some of the destructive impact of the Lord's Resistance Army rebellion in northern Uganda, Batre is interested in reporting about peace building efforts too.

Uganda Radio Network's former Gulu bureau chief, Batre is now based in Kampala. He is URN's main politics correspondent. He has been a URN staff member since 2009.

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