Uganda: Maracha Locals Decry Poor Road Network

22 October 2020

The poor state of most roads in different sub-counties in Maracha District has continued to paralyse service delivery.

The most affected roads are the district feeder roads and community access roads. Resident say some of the roads have developed gullies, making them impassable.

Speaking to Daily Monitor on Tuesday, Mr Modesto Buga, a resident of Yivu Sub-county, said: "There is no murram on the feeder road stretching from Maracha Town Council via Azipi Primary School up to Tara-Pajuru. Then when you take the shortcut route from Levua up to Maracha Town Council, the road is completely bad."

"People are finding it hard to access health centres, markets and the neighbouring villages," he added.

Mr Buga said another road that connects to Alikua Trading Centre via Nyadri South and Nyadri Sub-county is also in a deplorable state.

Other roads

Others roads that have been damaged include the Oleba Sub-county road that extends up to Paranga via Simbili to the Uganda-DRC borderline, Lurua-Oniba road, Koyi-Onzilabori road, Yivu-Goyi Goyi road and Goyi Goyi-Kololo-Wanize road. Another resident Ronald Ocatre, said the problem has been worsened by the breakdown of culvert bridges.

"We wonder whether the government has stopped allocating funds for roads to the local governments. We nearly got an accident during the yellow fever campaign because of the bad bridges," he said.

The chairperson of Tara Sub-county, Mr Biajo Abadrile, said some of the roads that were maintained two years ago have been destroyed by running water.

"Road users have to spend a lot of time negotiating through the gullies on most of the roads. The bad roads have greatly affected the transportation of agricultural produce to different markets," he said.

The acting district engineer, Mr Timothy Ezati, identified financial constraints and hilly terrain of lower Maracha as challenges affecting roadworks.

"Last financial year, our fourth quarter funds were not released. It affected a number of road maintenance systems. We had five mechanised roads we planned to work on last year but we did not.

"We have some other roads, including, Nyadri-Tara road, Lurua-Oniba road, Koyi-Onzilabori road, and Oleba-Retriko road which were not included in our last year annual workplans," he said.

He said they have written to Uganda Road Funds for additional money for the roads.

Road budget

Mr Ezati said for this year, the road budget is about Shs678 million. Of the money, he said the district received Shs145 million for the first quarter. But Shs28 million of the total Shs145m has been transferred to Maracha Town Council. The district remained with Shs117 million.

He projects that Maracha needs additional Shs300m to be able to work on the roads that were not included in the annual workplan in the last financial year.

The Maracha District chairperson, Mr Lawrence Adiga Ozubia, said the downpour is partly to blame for the bad road network.

"A number of our roads are in a sorry state and this is primarily attributed to rain this year. Some of the roads were worked on but we have registered down pours; it has now negatively impacted on the roads. However, we are planning to have those roads rehabilitated."

Reports

Last year's Uganda Local Governments assessment scorecard report ranked Maracha among the overall last 10 worst-performing districts. It was ranked 140 of the 146 districts.

A special audit by the Auditor General's office on utilisation of Uganda Road Funds in the financial years 2016/2017 and 2017/2018, noted that there were inconsistencies in fourth quarter roadworks progress report and payment vouchers. The same report, signed by Mr John Muwanga, on January 4, 2019, noted doubtful road maintenance works in Maracha.

More From: Monitor

Don't Miss

AllAfrica publishes around 800 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.