Shs 89 billion Gulu-Nimule highway develops potholes

Shs 89 billion Gulu-Nimule highway develops potholes
One of the numerous potholes along the Gulu-Atiak-Nimule highway in Amuru District. Courtesy/Dominic Ochola

Gulu, Uganda | URN | The Gulu-Atiak-Nimule highway has developed several potholes six years after it was commissioned in 2015.

The road spans 106km from Gulu City up to Elegu Town Council connects Uganda to the Republic of South Sudan. Constructed by China Henan International Corporation (CHICO), a Chinese Construction Group, the road has become the most important and busiest corridor in terms of transportation of goods and services. 

The highway has deteriorated from around areas of For-God in Gulu City West Division through to Keyo-Awer; Parabongo, Pabbo and Atiak Townships. More than 20 people have perished along the road in the last two years as are a result of traffic accidents.

Keith Aggrey Akera, a resident of Pupwonya North Parish who lost his brother in 2019 days since its completion in 2015, the road has quickly been wearing out something he attributes to possible shoddy work and heavy load trucks transporting goods and services to South Sudan. 

Leonard Komakech, a concerned rider and resident of Atiak Township also recalls losing a brother on the highway partly because of potholes. He noted that several trucks have overturned or involved in fatal road accidents in failed attempt to dodge potholes.

Christopher Odongkara, the Pabbo Sub-County Chairperson LCIII observes that the potholes are expanding daily following the movement of heavy traffic flow along the great north road and requires major repairs to save lives.

The District Secretary for Works and Technical Services, Martin Akera, says potholes are increasingly threatening the lives of many roads users and need urgent repairs are needed. Akera says the district has already notified Uganda National Roads Authority – UNRA for possible intervention.

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Geoffrey Osborn Oceng, the Resident District Commissioner, said that the potholes have become a security threat and that their assessment conducted on the status quo discovered up to 89 different depressions that require rehabilitation work.

The potholes have become dangerous not only for drivers, but for motorcyclists, pedestrians, and road workers. 

Since gaining its independence, South Sudan has positively impacted exportation from her neighbouring Uganda through Amuru because of the geographical and distance advantages that ease the exportation of various industrial raw materials, agricultural and essential products.  

The residents also want the local peoples to be adequately sensitized about traffic rules and be aware of the speed and power of vehicles, traffic signs.