By Musa Sabir

Several residents in Abia and Azia cells in Pangisa Ward, River Oli Division – Arua Municipality are expressing concerns over lack of sensitization by authorities on opening of new roads in the areas.

The residents blame division and municipal authorities for carrying out surveys on different roads without involving the local leaders.

This is the second time survey is done for the same roads, proving the previous survey wrong although roads were opened and houses destroyed.

The first survey was done in 2010 to open roads in the areas after the division officials received request from the community to open roads.

That year, residents agreed to leave, paving way for the road openings.

But this year, another survey was done, but this time the showed different points as opposed to the previous surveys.

The community members wonders how this can be possible after some people lost their buildings, gardens and graves to the roads opened.

Mr. Emmanuel Aluma, a resident of Azia Cell says, in 2012, his wall fence and graves were destroyed during road opening.

“The major issue here I have seen (is that) all these road openings were done without meeting the communities” the Former Senior Assistant Accountant at Romogi SS revealed.

He says, when the roads were opened, he was in Yumbe and no one informed him.

According to David Atiku, who has lived in this area for about 14 years, they were taken by surprise when survey for the roads were done.

“When we went away from our homes and came back in the evening, we found pegs on our compounds, when we asked the neighbors and the children, they said ‘they were some people who came (River Oli Division Official) doing survey” he says.

“Now we are wondering how survey can be done without even sensitization of the community members, not even given any information from the LCs or Councilors?” Atiku wonders.

Mrs. Christine Lekuru, whose houses were destroyed in the first road opening, will again suffer after the new survey carried indicates that some of her houses are affected.

She confirmed that, together with her sister, they were told to remove bricks of their buildings, but the road was not done since survey result indicated different point for the road.

We learnt that the survey now puts the road points on her house which was safe in the first survey.

The house and graves for about 10 bodies will be destroyed when road work begins.

However, the area Female Councilor, Mrs. Moureen Drateru confirmed that, the activities in other areas of Tanganyika Ward were successful since sensitization was done.

A committee for Project Affected Persons was formed to channel communication from the authorities to the locals in the communities.

Meanwhile, the L.C 3 Chairperson of River Oli Division, Mr. Muzaid Khemis attributes delays to form Project Affected Persons committee to the countrywide lock-down.

“Unfortunately the PAP (Project Affected Persons committee) was not formed here due to Corona virus was not formed” the Chairman says.

The committee would help in coordination.

Over 30 families in Abia and Azia cells (all in Pangisa ward, River Oli division) are affected in the new survey done to open about 4 roads in the areas after the result proves the initial survey wrong and this has no component of compensation. End