By Francis Emorut
Business people in Arua are very concerned that trenches dug in front of their business premises during road works in their town are stopping customers from reaching them.
The area residents say the road works have affected businesses on especially Arua Avenue where potential customers have to leap over the trenches to reach the shops.
Richard Anguyo, who operates a stationery shop, said he is failing to get buyers because of a trench dug right in front of his shop.
A health worker at a nearby clinic said patients were finding it had to access the clinic due to the dugouts.
Another woman who works in a beauty shop said since the works started in January this year, the number of customers to her shop has greatly dropped.
Even supermarkets relate with a similar experience as other businesses.
But the town clerk Francis Byabagambe said that road works was a temporary necessary inconvenience which traders and town dwellers should endure as with it comes development.
“That is a necessary inconvenience and so traders should bear with it as it brings development. What would they expect?” he said.
Micheal Ambayo, a social worker, spoke in a similar positive tone, saying the project was good because it is a sign of development.
He said: “This is good because it shows we are developing. The congestion is temporary.
But one area resident believed that despite the importance of good roads, priority should be veered towards health, especially with the rehabilitation of Arua referral hospital.
While some see the road work as a path to development, others are looking at the cost on their businesses. PHOTO/Francis Emorut
Besides the effect on businesses, the road works have also led to congestion at the Transport Road junction near Gapco petrol station.
The machines used are competing for space with the pedestrians and motorists who are using the same road.
Arua Avenue is a busy street which hosts several financial institutions and Arua regional referral hospital.
According to Arua LC5 chairman Sam Nyakwa, the road works in the town is part of the continuation of Vura-Arua-Araba road project.
He said that the construction work is being handled by Cico Construction Company.
Transport road at the junction from Arua hospital is also to be worked on and the buildings on the same road are to be demolished.
Nyakwa explained that the owners of the buildings set for demolition would be compensated but did not say when.
“The valuation was done by the government valuers,” he said.