PAKWACH. The rehabilitation work of Pakwach-Wadelai-Inde road by Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) has started.

The 58km road that connects Pakwach to neighbouring districts of Madi-Okollo and Arua is meant to ease transportation of goods and services. The road which has been in deplorable state has for long been a demand by locals and politicians for it to be tarmacked.

Mr Henry Okwong, a resident of Wangkawa in Pakwach town council said the quality of the road will be keenly monitored to ensure value for money and tasked the lower district leaderships to remind the central government of its promise to tarmark the road than grading it.

"The last time the president was here, he said the government will tarmark and electrify this road up to South Sudan but up to now, the road is still in a poor state and what is done is merely periodic maintenance and we don’t know why this is done when we are approaching elections". Okwong questioned.

But a section of the road users along Pakwach-Panyimur up to the ferry on the other hand want the district officials to closely supervise the works to avoid shoddy work.

Mr Erick Jakisa, a boda-boda cyclist along the road expressed fear that the maintenance may not last if proper mapping is not done considering poor soil texture of the district.

Jakisa however wants proper accountability and transparency as well as proper distinction of different mandates to stop local politicians from taking advantage of the works.

However, the district Engineer, Mr Avola Ocakacon confirmed that whereas the district has little say on roads under the administrative units of UNRA, the ongoing work on the road is a routine maintenance that should have been done in the third quarter.

He expressed optimism that due to cordial relations between the district and the authority, queries raised by the locals will be addressed.

The district chairman, Mr Robert Steen Omito denied claims by the community that the road works were a political gimmick to hoodwink locals as the electioneering period approaches.

"We have tasked the Executive director to cause change and value for money be visualised to every citizen, we have held several engagements with Arua station as well as our area Members of parliament, we are calm that tarmark progress will be a success after anticipated design", Steen said.

The chairman urged the community to desist from politicking and advised them to make good use of it in order to access health care, take agricultural produce to the markets to enhance household incomes.