Hundreds of people affected by the upgrade of Olwiyo – Gulu – Kitgum – Musingo road will have to wait for up to three years to receive compensation for their properties destroyed by the road works.
Engineer Abraham Byandala, the transport minister says government has lost time to undertake the tedious job of compensation. He says any further delay to the works will attract extra claims from the contractors, something government is not ready to meet.
To prevent unnecessary claims that might inflate the cost of upgrading the road; Eng. Byandala says the compensation had to be delayed for up to three years.
According to Byandala, persons affected by the project have been determined and their properties valued for payment at a later date. He says the delay is not an isolated case as had been applied in Vurra-Arua-Koboko – Oraba road in the past.
The Transport minister says the compensation will then be undertaken as upgrade nears completion in three years’ time.
The pronouncement comes as some persons affected by the road works had threatened to disrupt the progress of the works unless compensated.
According to the design, the road will have a 7meter wide carriageway and 1.5 meter wide surfaced shoulders, giving an overall roadway width of 10 meters.
A cross section with parking lanes but without shoulders will be constructed in the trading zones along the road. Meanwhile, separate walkways and bus bays will be provided where required, Minister Byandala explained.
Minister Byandala explained that the construction of the road has been divided into three sections.
He named them as 78Km stretch from Gulu to Acholibur estimated to cost 164 billion shillings and 86 Km Acholibur to Musingo at the border with South Sudan estimated to cost UGX195 billion.
The other is 61 Km long from Olwiyo to Gulu at 166 Billion Shillings. He said the sections have all been assigned to different contractors and supervisors.
He said the road will be equipped with road safety features including kerbs, road signs, road markings, rumble strips, humps and guard rails.
President Yoweri Museveni on Saturday officiated at the commissioning of the upgrade in two sections of the road in Pader and Kitgum district.
He said the road will be upgraded using 525 billion shillings of Uganda government money.
The President warned locals against frustrating the works over compensation demands and theft of contractors’ properties.
Foreign Affairs State Minister, Henry Okello Oryem urged President Museveni to fulfill other pledges he made to NRM supporters in the district and victims of FEDEMO massacre in Namokora and victims of LRA massacre in Mucwini Sub County.
Beatrice Atim Anywar, the Kitgum Woman Member of Parliament urged President Museveni to grant the region a full ministry in addition to rehabilitating homes destroyed by government soldiers while combating rebel Lord’s Resistance Army.