Inadequate funding, lack of equipment blamed for bad state of Arua City roads

By Andrew Cohen Amvesi     June 27, 2022

ARUA. The bad state of roads in Arua Central Division, Arua City has been blamed on inadequate funding and lack of road equipment, officials have said.

The sickening state of roads in Arua Central Division was unearthed during an impromptu inspection by the area MP, Jackson Atima Lee Buti over the weekend.

Atima who was in the company of Anthony Dradria, the Arua City Engineer and the Division Councilors expressed shock after realizing that many of the roads in his Constituency were impassable while others were connected using locally made wooden bridges.

However, Dradria blamed the problem on inadequate funding and lack of road maintenance equipment. Dradria said with the little resources allocated by the government, they usually hire road equipment to maintain few roads thus crippling full-scale operation.

“The problem is bringing Ayivu County (now Ayivu Division) roads into the city without a budget. When I joined the then Arua Municipality in 2017/18 financial year, the budget was Shs1.2bn for just Municipal roads, but now after bringing Ayivu on board, we have around 800 km roads in the City; 200km in the Central Division and 600km in Ayivu Division. If you bring 600km of roads in the city and the budget has come from Shs1.2bn to Shs800m, where are we going?” Dradria asked.

“Right now, we would be sitting with the MPs on Monday under the City roads committee appropriating Shs800m and yet under Municipal alone it was Shs1.2bn. Now after bringing Ayivu with all the roads, the budget is now Shs800m and of the Shs800m, we received Shs600m. So, this is the situation we are facing on the ground,” Dradria said.

He added that road equipment were given to districts of which Arua was inclusive, but when Ayivu which was part of Arua district was apportioned to the City, it came without equipment thus forcing the engineering department to always hire equipment whenever there is need to work on roads.

In his remarks, Atima urged the government to consider operationalizing the newly created Arua City.

“Arua city has the former Arua Municipality which had two Divisions; River Oli and Arua Hill Division. Ayivu Division had seven Sub-Counties, now when the city was formed, the two Divisions under the former Arua Municipal joined the seven Sub-Counties of Ayivu County, making the two Divisions of Arua City which are in actual sense, nine Sub-Counties,” Atima explained.

“Now Arua district had all the available personnel and equipment which were serving the entire Ayivu County and the four Sub-Counties in Vurra County which has now remained as Arua district. The dilemma at hand is because the Ministry has not come out with clear guidelines of how the personnel should be allocated and how resources like road equipment should be allocated, Arua district that has four Sub-Counties has remained with all the personnel and equipment that were serving both Vurra and Ayivu Counties,” Atima stressed.

The MP said as a result, the burden of service delivery in the city which should have been eased by personnel and equipment proportionate to the population, is now serving Arua district which has lesser population and Sub-Counties.

“So, the burden of serving these previous nine Sub-Counties which are now under Arua City, making Central and Ayivu Divisions now rests on the Central Division resources (former Arua Municipality) with very few human resources and equipment. This is actually a serious crisis that the city is now facing,” Atima said.

“What I want H.E President Museveni and the concerned Ministries to know is that the former Arua Municipality which is now the Central Division is suffocating. Ayivu Division is now being served by the resources of the Central Division. If we were greedy, we would have said no, this is the budget meant for our central Division, let it only remain here. That means service delivery will completely be affected in Ayivu Division but now because we look at our city as one city, the two Divisions have to grow together, we have accepted to share these few resources. So, it is a serious crisis and we need the government to come to the aid of Arua City so that service delivery can be effective to the population of the two Divisions,” Atima appealed.

Ends

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