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Africa News of Wednesday, 23 December 2020


Uganda: Angry Kwania residents deflate politicians tyres over poor roads

Residents of Nambieso Sub-county in Kwania District have reportedly resorted to puncturing tyres of vehicles belonging to politicians to force them to repair the flooded sections of one of the roads in the area.

The road, which stretches from Nambieso Sub-county to Corner Agwata in Dokolo District, has been cut off at two sections by water coming from Lake Kyoga.

The road is now a tributary of Lake Kwania, according to residents and yet the authorities have done nothing to have it repaired.

Mr Geoffrey Omara Ebuk, the Nambieso LC3 chairman, added that flash floods have submerged two kilometres of the road at Obalo-deo swamp near Abuli market in Ayabi parish.

“Another one kilometre of the road has been consumed by floods at Aornga, making it very difficult for patients to access Owiny Health Centre II,” he said.

Politicians campaigning in the parishes of Ayabi and Owing have to leave their vehicles by the roadside and cross to the other side using a boat.

On the other side, they are picked up by boda boda cyclists and taken to the villages and other trading centres to campaign.

“Some politicians who left their vehicles on this side of the road came back to find that the locals had punctured the tyres,” Mr Tom Superman Opwonya, a resident and the executive director of the Apac Anti-Corruption Coalition (TAACC), an NGO, said.

He added that this is done by the people who do not support the politicians.

“They (voters) are saying if the road was okay, the politicians would have gone with their vehicle to the other side. But leaving their vehicles here means they realise that the road is bad,” he said.

Mr Opwonya also said the residents have resorted to using two boats to cross the flooded sections of the road.

“The water is as deep as the person standing. The type of boats being used are the new big boats accepted by the government,” Mr Tom Superman Opwonya, a resident, said.

The two boats were donated by Mr Richard Beja and Mr Benson Ogwok, all residents of Nambieso. Each boat was bought at Shs1.7 million and there are two boats that are being used in the stretch of about half a kilometre.

Mr Omara said: “People with motorcycles are paying Shs2,000, those with bicycles are paying Shs1,000 and pedestrians are paying Shs500 as a token of appreciation to the boat owners,” Mr Omara said.

Ms Rose Apio, a produce dealer, said the flooded road has badly affected her business.

“I used to sell my produce to buyers from Lira Town but because of the floods, Abuli market can no longer be accessed by the traders from Lira,” she said.

The area LC3 chairman said the magnitude of the floods is beyond their capacity, but they have been making several appeals to the district leaders, but nothing has been done.

“The RDC of Kwania, Mr Salim Komakech, came here to see the problems caused by floods and advised me to go to the district with my sub-county chief so that they can make special appeal to Uganda National Roads Authority for emergency response,” Mr Omara added.

“The road fund has just been released to the district and I think something is going to be done on this road.”

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