Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Civil Aviation Authority-CAA has rejected proposals by Kitgum Municipal Council to relocate vendors from the central market to the aerodrome to pave way for the redevelopment of the market.
The proposed reconstruction of the market will be financed by the African Development Bank (ADB) under the Markets and Agricultural Trade Improvement (MATIP-2) project.
Recently, Kitgum district proposed to relocate over 1,000 traders temporarily relocate to the defunct Kitgum Airfield located in Pandwong Division in December. The market construction has dragged in since 2011.
David Mpango Kakuba, the Managing Director Civil Aviation Authority has written to the Resident District Commissioner, Christopher Omara to prevail over the Municipality to rescind its decision.
“CAA wishes to register its strongest protest and to inform you that we shall use every available legal remedy to ensure this duly gazetted is preserved for aviation purposes,” reads the letter in part.
Adding that, “CAA is the arm of government mandated to develop, operate and maintain government Aerodromes. According to our 20-year Aviation Plan, Kitgum Airstrip is one of the aerodromes we are going to redevelop.”
He explains that they intend to redevelop the airfield because of its proximity to Kidepo Valley National Park, a busy tourist attraction.
Patrick Ouma, the Kitgum Municipal Assistant Town Clerk told URN that they have not yet seen the letter. According to Ouma, the Airfield belongs to the municipality and has never been handed over to the Central government.
Daniel Oroma, the Speaker Kitgum Municipal Council, says on Friday November 16, 2018, the council passed a resolution and Shillings 71 million supplementary budget to fund the relocation of the vendors.
Christopher Omara, the Kitgum Resident District Commissioner, says he is yet to engage with CAA and other district officials to consult on the matter before making official communication.
Currently, the community uses the airfield to plant crops and graze domestic animals. Some residents say CAA should consider building another runway away from the town because it is a security risk.