By Christopher Nyeko
GULU: Gulu City is set to spend one billion shillings to construct heavy bridges and put on many box culverts on impassable roads within the city area.
The money is part of the mandatory fund directed by the president to be sent to all the cities, districts, municipalities, and town councils for road maintenance.
In an exclusive interview with this news portal, the Gulu City Engineer, Omara Christo Balmoi, said they are prioritizing the construction of bridges, which were not majorly done due to insufficient funding from the Uganda Road Fund.
He noted that the work on bridges required heavy capital, noting that Gulu City used to receive only 300 million shillings under the Uganda Road Fund, an amount he said wasn’t sufficient to do such heavy work.
Omara told our reporter that each division is allocated two bridges, adding that it is now incumbent upon the division authorities to name the bridges they want the city council to build.
Part of these funds will also be used to upgrade low-quality culverts, which will be replaced with quality box culverts, like the one he said is durable.
The Laroo-Pece Division Mayor, Geoffrey Otim, disclosed that they have identified the Lawiye-Adul-Laliya bridge and the Agonga-Akonyi bridge as their priorities.
According to Otim, the Lawiye-Adul-Laliya and Agonga-Akonyi bridges have been affecting the development of the division since many wards in the annexed area have difficulties accessing social services from the city center due to the cutoff.
He added that the division authorities are incapacitated to rectify these bridges since they require heavy capital involvement.
Meanwhile, Oola Patrick Lumumba, the division mayor for Bardege-Layibi Division, disclosed that the Oitino-Patiko and Okuje-Alokolum bridges are already in poor states, adding that they have been causing a lot of concern in the areas that rely on those routes.
Oola, however, urges the Gulu city council to involve them prior to starting any work so that they can express their urgent needs too.
The leaders are optimistic that if the bridges are constructed, it will ease movement between those in annex areas, and enrolment of children in schools will increase since many pupils are absconding due to lack of access caused by the breakdown of bridges and culverts splashed by the rain.
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