OBONGI. Locals and traders in Yumbe and Obongi districts are irritated after being blocked from accessing markets and other economic activities in the two districts because of the poor state of roads.
After a heavy rain downpour on Sunday, the road connecting the two districts along Obongi-Kulikulinga road between Ariwa Sub County in Yumbe and Gimara Sub County in Obongi district became impassible making many motorists and drivers to get stuck for several hours.
The anger however prompted the locals to threaten not to vote President Yoweri Museveni in 2021 elections if the roads are not improved.
Mr Taire Mambo, a driver with Build Consults, Uganda Ltd got a fracture on his right arm while driving a lorry transporting an excavator from Cifori in Moyo to Yumbe district.
“In the process of going to Yumbe, I decided to use this route through Obongi and for sure the road is very bad and because of the road, I got a fracture on my right arm, whereby I need some help. The mud twisted steering on one side when I was in a high speed trying to maneuver the road and when I was unable to bring it back in which the steering ended up knocking my hand”, Mambo narrated.
However, a section of youths in the area have turned the bad situation into an advantage minting money from drivers at a cost ranging between shs50,000 to shs100,000 depending on the size of the vehicle to push them out of the mud.
Obongi county Member of Parliament, Mr Kaps Hassan Fungaroo attributed the worsened condition of the road to poor workmanship by Uganda National Roads Authority, especially in terms of drainage system and putting marum on the road.
Fungaroo who is also Obongi district chairman of Roads committee said the district has raised the matter to UNRA several times, but less seems to be done in response.
He said he is raising the matter again to the ministry of Transport.
“This road has become worse as a result of poor workmanship, resulting from poor planning and poor commitment of UNRA. The road was bad before but UNRA started working on it and they never provided proper protection in terms of drainage systems and culverts and necessary marum” Fungaroo said.
When contacted on the phone, UNRA Road maintenance engineer for Moyo district, Mr Gerald Alukionzi said UNRA is already working on the road as the funds are available.
He explained that the road has become muddy because of the black soil that has been applied with aims of raising the road level higher before applying marum so that it will not be affected by floods.