ZOMBO, November 16, 2023 – Legislators comprising the Committee on Presidential Affairs have decried the appalling state of roads in Zombo district, which they said has rendered the delivery of services poor.
The legislators who were in the district on Tuesday to monitor government programmes urged the government to work on the roads to spur trade and commerce in the district.
The MPs said bad roads in Zombo district will slow down the progress of key government projects like the Parish Development Model [PDM] and Emyooga because most of the beneficiaries are farmers who need to transport their produce to markets. The two programmes are meant to improve the livelihoods of the beneficiaries through commercial production.
Terego District Woman Member of Parliament, Rose Obigah said that though West Nile is ranked second to Karamoja in the poverty index, working on the the roads which transport farmers’ products to the markets will reduce poverty in the Sub-region.
Obigah noted that Zombo district borders DR-Congo which provides business opportunities but that the transport network needs to be worked for the locals to participate meaningfully in trade with the Congolese, adding that with trade, the district will be able to earn more revenue.
She added: “We need to work hard to bring food on the table by working on our roads for economic benefits to our people and increase the revenue base of the country.”
Meanwhile, the district LCV chairperson, James Oyulu said though they received Shs 1 billion as the presidential pledge to work on the roads, the money isn’t enough because 2,800 kilometres roads need to be rehabilitated for the improved services delivery .
“We have more roads to be rehabilitated in the district but the district has no capacity to work on all the roads due to meager revenue sources,” Oyulu said.
He added the district has more than seven bridges to be constructed to enable the movement of people and goods, adding that some farmers have resorted to selling their produce in gardens, hence getting low prices, which he said is not good in fighting poverty.
“The district is overwhelmed with many kilometers of roads to be worked on and yet there is a small resource envelope. This calls for councillors and technocrats to bolster efforts in resource mobilisation,” he said.
Milly Akumu, a resident of the district, said mothers risk their lives while trying to access various health facilities on motor bikes, especially when it rains. During the rainy season, health facilities are almost inaccessible due to bad roads, and this forces some mothers to deliver at home,” she said.
One of the farmers in the district, Justine Thuwambe, said due to the bad state of the roads in the district, farmers are unable to transport their farm produce to the various market places, hence getting low prices from the middlemen.
The farmers are not able to dictate the price of their commodities because they can’t look for a good market since the road networks are very poor for transportation of the products,” Thuwambe said.
Buy your copy of thecooperator magazine from one of our country-wide vending points or an e-copy on emag.thecooperator.news