Abraham Byandala, the Works and Transport minister has ordered the demolition of more than ten buildings in Arua municipality to pave way for the ongoing construction of Arua-Koboko-Oraba road. The directive stems from a petition by Arua Municipal Development following claims that China Chonging International Construction, the firm undertaking the construction and officials from Uganda National Roads Authority were planning to save the houses and encroach on Arua Hospital land.
While meeting Arua district officials and contractors recently, Byandala ordered the government valuer to evaluate the affected houses for compensation and have them demolished so that work can continue. Some of the structures facing eviction found along hospital road include containers belonging to the proprietor of Gaagaa Bus services and Nile coaches. The duo has agreed to leave the area for the constructions works to go on as planned. Byandala says that blocking such a big project to protect the interest of a few individuals is not logical.
He says that all affected people will be adequately since 10 billion shillings was budgeted for compensation.
Wadri Sam Nyakua, the Arua LC V chairperson blames the failure by some residents to pave way for the road construction on the meager compensation. He says that some of the people who received compensation were paid very little money, which is not sufficient for them to buy land elsewhere.
Buga Matata, the representative of the affected residents says that they were initially opposed to the demolition of their houses because municipal authorities told them they would not be compensated. He however, says that they are willing to leave after receiving assurance from the minister that they will be compensated.
The construction work of 92 kilometer road stretch worth 132 billion shillings, started in May last year. The construction was expected to last for 36 months.
The construction work is behind schedule by three months because of the disputes with property land owners.