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Transport, businesses crippled as floods ravage Kole

Floods resulting from recent heavy downpours have cut off several roads connecting Kole district headquarters to the community.  

Currently, residents can only access the district headquarters using small boats, or by being manually carried across the flooded sections.

The most affected roads include Kole Town Council to Corner Mowlem Road, Bala Sub County to Kole Town Council road and Aboke to Kole Town Council road. 

Floods have also cut off the 15km road stretching from Teboke Sub County border in Apac district via Ayer Sub County to Kole district headquarters at Awanga-col swamp, leaving transport and businesses paralyzed.

A report by the Kole district Road Engineering department indicates that about 85% of roads in the district have been cut off by floods, while several community access roads remain impassable due to the ongoing torrential rains.

 The floods have also destroyed numerous crop gardens in the Sub Counties of Ayer, Alito and Aboke, leaving residents in total dilemma.

Residents who talked to theCooperator on Thursday say they are now barred from accessing services at Kole District Headquarters and Aboke Health Centre IV due to the flooding roads.

Francis Obote, a resident of Western Ward A cell in Kole Town Council, says they are facing difficulties transporting their  wives to Aboke Health Centre IV due to the impassable road, which he says has been flooded for nearly two months now, leaving road users stranded.

“We are sincerely suffering: cases of accidents resulting from bad roads are increasing, women are unable to reach hospitals and businesses are totally paralyzed. Our leaders should come and rescue us,” he said.

Molly Ajok, a resident of Te-Atit cell, in Kole Town Council, says residents are paying between Shs 5,000 to 10,000 to energetic men to carry them across the more than 2km Awanga-col swamp which also remains flooded. She called for urgent intervention by the district leaders to restore the road.

Another road user Anthony Odyek, a resident of Abur parish and a waragi seller, faulted the Kole district officials for “reluctance to repair the road for the last two years”, saying the bad road has paralyzed his business.

Denis Omara, the Secretary for Works and Technical Services at Kole district local government confirmed that several roads have been cut off by floods. 

“All our roads are now impassable. Accessing Apac is a challenge: all the roads that lead from Bala, Corner Mowlem to Kole are flooded; the only road to access Kole is from Corner Park, that runs from Lira. This has crippled service delivery in the district,” he said.

The Kole District Vice Chairman, Alfonse Araca, revealed that the district has secured a sum of Shs 26m from the Ministry of Works and Transport to rehabilitate the prioritised Teboke border to Kole district road.

He adds that rehabilitation works had already been planned for most of the affected roads in the district, but they had been stifled by the heavy rains.

“We have received funds to repair one of the roads and we are considering writing for funds from the government to immediately repair these roads when the rains subside,” Araca noted.

Betty Akoli Nam, the Kole District Chairperson says this is not the first time Kole has been affected by floods. Nam said that in March, 2019, floods ravaged the Sub Counties of Aboke, Ayer and Alito, destroying over 70 houses, submerging gardens and leaving several roads impassable.

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