1 million signatures needed to support petition on potholed Lira-Kamdini road

This is the status of Lira-Kamdini road. A Daily Monitor photo.

“Uganda loses billions of shillings in revenue. This road must be prioritised by government,” says Mr Ogwang Obura.

Oyam—13 October 2020: At least 714 signatures have been collected as of Tuesday 13 October 2020 to support a petition to different government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).

By the end of business on Tuesday, Office of the Prime Minister, Ministry of Works and Transport and Uganda National Roads Authority had received the petition.

Mr Patrick Ogwang Obura, a petitioner and a resident of Kamdini Town Council in Oyam South, Oyam district told TND News on Tuesday evening that “as a sub-region we need that road. As a region, that road is vital for trade and all sorts of supplies”.

He added that: “Uganda loses billions of shillings in revenue. This road must be prioritised by government.”

According to him, the target is 1 million signatures, revealing that 714 signatures have so far been collected. “We must help our communities if elected leaders have chosen to be silent,” he added.

What his petition says

“Madam Speaker, Article 4(a) of the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda and Rule 29(1) of the Rules of Procedure of the Parliament of Uganda provides for the citizens and aggrieved Ugandans to petition the Parliament through the Speaker to seek redress on some of the social-impairment, injustice, obstacle to national development and or concerns in society.”

“Madam Speaker, with a heavy heart I bring to your attention the state of Kamdini-Lira road, a stretch of about 65 kilometres, a crucial major trade route that connects eastern Uganda to west Nile, Acholi sub-region, Bunyoro and Sudan, Congo, CAR and Egypt which is in a terrible condition. This route is a gateway to Northern Uganda via Eastern and carries to hundreds of trucks on a daily basis to these national and regional destinations. The same route supports the local transport business of commuter taxies, lorries, buses, vans and boda boda to various local markets in the sub-region and greater Northern Region.”

“Madam Speaker, this road is now a major cause of suffering to many families due to deaths from various accidents that occur weekly on this road. Imagine the financial loss to the owners of these vehicles, the goods that get destroyed in the road accidents, the delay and turnaround time as you drive on this route for several hours.”

“Madam Speaker, currently, Lira was accorded a City Status. The spot at Odokomit, which is an entry to Lira City, is cut off many times by floods bringing business in the new upcoming city to a standstill. The image is always ugly with a filthy stench as you enter the new Lira City from Kamdini route. This is an obstacle to development efforts made by the government.”

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“Madam Speaker, as a concerned citizen, I have made several attempts and written to UNRA about the state of this road. They have always made temporary mud filling that gets washed away by rain and heavy trucks that use this route. Photos are herein attached for reference, although I would have loved you to drive to Lira City via Kamdini and you have a “first class experience” of this road. This petition is also supported by signatures attached of fellow concerned Ugandans who value the development efforts being made by government but being frustrated by UNRA for failure to prioritise this trade route.”

“Madam Speaker, it’s our humble appeal through your office that you task the rightful ministry to look into this matter and have the road fixed to ease the movement of goods and people in Lango sub-region and greater Northern Uganda.

UNRA’s intervention

 In September 2019, UNRA announced that they were starting temporal rehabilitation of Lira-Kamdini highway.

According to Mr Mark Ssali, the UNRA Communications Officer, as quoted by the Independent then, said: “We are currently undertaking temporal repairs of bad spots along the road.”

The same publication quoted him as saying the temporal works included filing deep potholes with marram and opening of some filled up drainage lines along the highway.”

Lango leaders’ action

In December 2019, Lango parliamentary Group (LPG) wrote a letter to the then Minister in charge of Works and Transport, Eng Monica Azuba after the works on the highway was halted.

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LPG Vice chairperson, Hon Paul Amoro Omiat, in that letter raised their concerns as the road was “very bad”.

He further told the Minister then that the status of the road was affecting businessmen and women who use the road.

This publication could not get fresh comments from LGP leadership by press time.

meja@tndnewsug.com Publication’s WhatsApp No. +256 752 169 448.

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