Gulu, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Leaders in Gulu City are struggling to maintain over 40 community access roads.
The roads were opened by Gulu Municipal Council across then four Divisions that have now been merged to form East and West City Divisions during the financial 2019/2020 before Gulu attained its city status.
The impassable roads are spread across 124 villages and 34 parishes in the two Divisions of Gulu City. Currently, some of the parishes with notable bad and impassable roads include Tegwana, Kirombe, Pece Cubu, Kabed’opong, Layibi-Techo and Kanyagoga among others.
Moses Laker, a resident of Kirombe Parish in Gulu City West Division says that the bad roads should be blamed on Government which allocates more of its budgets on administration than improved service delivery for the citizens that pay tax.
John Bosco Uhuru, a resident of Laroo in Gulu City East Division blames the bad roads on incompetent leaders who promised better services but have failed their social contract obligation with the electorates.
Martin Ojara Mapenduzi, the Mayor says that several roads that have been opened and now rendered impassable are a result of improper and poor planning by division leaders.
According to Edward Kiwanuka, the interim Gulu City Town Clerk, following the elevation of Gulu into City, people’s expectations have gone high amid financial resource constraints to deliver on key services like road opening, expansion and maintenance.
Kiwanuka disclosed that already Gulu City Council has developed a 200 billion budget proposal which is required for operations because the scope has work and intervention has tremendously widened.
Since 2016, up to 65 billion have been sunk toward the rehabilitation of 17 roads measuring 6.4 kilometres in Gulu under the Uganda Support to Municipal Infrastructure Development (USMID) program funded by Government and World Bank.
The Bank has again injected 68 billion shillings towards road infrastructure development. According to John Charles Luwa, the interim Gulu City Planner, the money has been earmarked to improve a total of 43 roads in the next five years.