By Francis Emorut
Gulu municipality authorities have been forced to act on a road that had turned into both a physical and visual menace for the area residents.
The one-kilometer stretch leads to Gulu Univesity and Bomah Hotel but it has remained in a poor state for a long time.
Owners of Bomah Hotel went as far as suspending fulfillment of their tax obligations in order to bring to the attention of the town officials, through discussions, the poor delivery of social services. And one of the reference points was the heavily potholed and flooded road.
And it seemed to have worked.
The hotel has now entered into a joint venture with the municipality to reconstruct the road, with the cost estimated at sh500m.
The hotel’s managing director and chairman, Hillary Onek pointed out that theirs was a deliberate move to cause the municipality to commit to service delivery.
“We deliberately withheld taxes to prompt dialogue with the municipality authorities to ensure that they fulfill their mandate of service delivery because we have been paying taxes but we don’t see results on the ground,” he revealed.
“As a tax payer within Gulu municipality, we [Bomah hotel] have been at the forefront, demanding fulfilled services on what taxes are meant for.”
A woman leaps over a small 'pond' of water by the road. It had become difficult to use the poor road. PHOTO/Francis Emorut
The road that floods under wet weather – potholes fill with water – has been making it difficult for passage both for pedestrians and motorists.
Bomah Hotel’s company secretary and lawyer, Walter Okidi Ladwar said the reconstruction starts in two weeks.
The municipality will foot the bill of materials such as culverts, bitumen, aggregates, and more while the hotel will take care of the other construction needs.
It is understood the municipal authorities had temporarily closed the hotel due to non-payment of taxes.
Laroo Division LC3 chairman, Moses Abong called the joint venture a "positive development", admitting that his team had struggled to raise funds to repair the road.
He encouraged the municipal authorities to partner with other organisations to develop the roads within Gulu town.