UNRA “Still Studying” the Widening Cracks in Moroto – Nakapiripirit Road

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Moroto residents walk passed a cracked section of Moroto, Nakapiripirit road on Saturday.

Leaders and residents of Karamoja are wondering how long it will take before the  Uganda National roads authority -UNRA does something about the cracks developing in the Moroto – Nakapiripirit road.

The cracks in the road have been widening without any intervention barely six years after its completion.

The cracks that  started developing on the road connects the towns of Moroto and Nakapiripirit eight months ago but now the cracks have kept on widening and getting deeper under the scorching sunshine.

This has caused worries among the motorist operating Moroto – Nakapiripirit road.

Moses Otimong a taxi driver operating between Moroto and Nakapiripirit said the road will soon become a death trap should the government keeps on looking at it without finding the solution.

“This road I don’t what could have made it to start getting spoiled like this, it will soon become a death trap,” he said

Government in 2013 contracted a Chinese firm, China Road and Bridge Construction Company -CRBC to upgrade and tarmac the 98 kilometer road at a cost of Shs180b and it was completed in 2015.

Peter Okure another driver said in other parts especially around Lokali bridge there are  already big portholes widening.

He fears that cracks on the road could get more deeper  should the heavy  rains return back in Karamoja.

“When it starts raining, a lot of water will be now entering inside those cracked parts and it will become more and more dangerous,” he said

Mr. Francis Kiyonga, the LC5 chairperson Amudat District, said they have raised issues concerning the widening cracks on  Moroto, Nakapiripirit road in the various meetings with UNRA team but no proper answer is given to the leaders. 

“I don’t know whetherUNRA engineers are seeing those cracks because they drive through that road and see what’s happening on the road but no body is bothered about it until when it begins killing people,” he said.

Currently, the cracks are seen in the areas of Nadunget, Katanga near Hotel Africana site, Lokali Bridge at the Moroto border with Nakapiripirit and Kamusalaba in Nakapiripirit District.

Mr. John Nangiro the district LCV chairperson Nakapiripirit district suspected poor workmanship on the road could be the reason making the road to develop such cracks quickly before it lasts.

Mr. Li wang the project manager, China Road and Bridge Construction Company that constructed the road told URN  that they handed over the road to UNRA and it was beyond the warranty period.

“Get in touch with UNRA because we finished our work and handed over the road to them so what is happening they should be in position to tell,” he said and hang up his phone.

Mr. Allan Sempebwa, the Uganda National Roads Authority’s media relations manager, said a team of UNRA’s technical expert were still studying the cause of cracks and see ways of addressing it.

“We are aware of the cracks and the UNRA technical experts are still carrying out  investigations in the cause of the cracks,” he said.

Karamoja region is now connected with the tarmac from Kampala to Moroto via. Mbale, Soroti, Katakwi to Moroto and also from Moroto to Nakapiripirit.

The only remaining main roads that are not tarmacked include Moroto to Kidepo national park via Kotido and Kaabong.

Other roads are Nakapiripirit to Muyembe and Kotido to Abim which president Museveni promised the people of Karamoja that they will be worked on soon. The president promised this while campaigning in Karamoja region last year.