Butebo leaders blame poverty on poor road network

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Butebo leaders blame poverty on poor road network
Butebo leaders blame poverty on poor road network

Africa-Press – Uganda. Local leaders and residents of Butebo District have blamed rampant poverty in the district on the poor road network.

The leaders say locals, who are mostly agriculturalists, have challenges in transporting their produce to the market, especially on Pallisa-Butebo-Nakaloke road, which links the district to Bugisu and Teso sub-regions.

Mr Robert Kiwere, one of the elders, said the feeder roads are also in deplorable condition.

“This district has one of the worst road network in the sub-region. We face difficulties accessing the main road due to the bad condition of the feeder roads, especially during the rainy season,” he said.

Mr James Opolot, another resident of Kabwangasi Town Council, said: “The state of the roads have hiked the cost of transport and affected economic development.”

Mr Opolot said most of the Passenger Service Vehicles have abandoned using Pallisa-Butebo-Nakaloke road.

“The few vehicles which have remained have taken the advantage of the bad road to overcharge passengers,” he said.

Ms Annet Naula, another resident, said: “The district is blessed with agricultural products, but farmers fail to access better markets.”

She said the transport cost has hiked. Ms Naula said boda boda riders charge Shs10,000 from Butebo to Mbale District.

Funding gap

Mr James Okurut, the chairperson of Butebo, acknowledged the challenge and blamed it on poor government funding.

“We have a poor state of the road network connecting to other districts and the existing access roads also remain in a sorry state due to inadequate funds given under the Road Fund,” he said.

“This is not the first time this matter has been brought to the attention of the government. We [leaders] have voiced this concern at different platforms, but unfortunately the government hasn’t responded,” he added.

He said they presented a memo to President Museveni over the poor state of Pallisa-Butebo-Nakaloke road, but they have not received any official communication.

Mr Richard Mugoda, the district youth councillor, said: “The national cake should be shared equally. What was the essence of creating the district when it’s operating in total darkness due to lack of electricity and poor state of the roads.”

The district Woman MP, Ms Agnes Amede, said: “We call upon the government to consider this road as a priority. The district leadership has been reminding the government of the plight of the community in vain.”

The locals also implored the government to consider tarmacking Pallisa-Butebo-Nakaloke, which is approximately 45km in order to promote trade.

ROAD FUND

Butebo was curved out of Pallisa in 2017 and it receives Shs140 million under the Road Fund. Butebo, which is landlocked entirely, depends on the road for business.

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