28 September 2016

Uganda: Amin Road Turns Into Open Market

Photo: URN/The Observer
The newly constructed Idi Amin road.

In Arua municipality, the newly-built Idi Amin road has got another purpose - it's also an open-air market.

The road in Oli division was named after Uganda's former President Idi Amin.It was built less than a year ago together with Enyau road in Arua Hill division under a World Bank project worth Shs 6.1 billion.

However, charcoal and firewood vendors have turned the road into an open market. Some display their stock on the pavement during day while at night others get to work right in the middle of the road. Khamis Muzaidi, the LC-III chairman of Oli division, said the misuse of the road by residents is unfortunate.

He lamented that Idi Amin road now looks like it was built more than 10 years ago. Muzaidi decried the indifference of residents toward such projects, which he said could scare away development partners. Ambrose Ocieng, the town clerk of Arua municipality, said the reckless attitude of residents must stop.

Such facilities must be well maintained, he said, so that new ones can be constructed instead of wasting resources on repairs.

He also asked cattle keepers to stop grazing animals along the road. Some traders said they will not vacate the area until the municipal authorities allocate them alternative space to conduct their businesses.

Hassan Agobia, a firewood vendor, said authorities have been pushing them away from the town.

He said their old workplace was sold off to rich people to construct shopping centres. Zainab Alokore, a charcoal dealer, added that the road is the only suitable place they could find.

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