Parliament declare Karamoja a disaster area

Samuel Odonga Otto, the Aruu county MP
Samuel Odonga Otto, the Aruu county MP

The Parliamentary Committee on Government Assurance is asking government to declare some parts of Karamoja disaster areas.

The committee chairperson, Samuel Odonga Otto, the Aruu county MP observed that some parts of Karamoja region are unable to get adequate service delivery because they are inaccessible due to the bad state of the roads.

He cited areas like Kotido, Abim and Kaabong districts which he said are at the moment inaccessible following the flooding of Lopei Bridge that connects the districts through Moroto district.

Odonga Otto wonders how the situation would be handled if such areas are struck by a disaster like an outbreak of a disease. He describes the situation as alarming and that government must reconsider its political will on the region and intervene immediately.

He promised to table a motion before parliament this week to force government to declare parts of the region disaster areas.

The committee’s demand stemmed from an incident over the weekend where they got stranded after they failed to access Abim, Kotido, Kaabong and some parts of Nakapiripirit due to the bad roads. They were on a tour of the region to monitor, scrutinize and validate government’s pledges and assurances in the region.

Odonga Otto observed that the road network across the country is bad but noted that the situation in Karamoja should be accorded special treatment.

James Mbahimba, the Kasese county MP says he will help persuade his fellow NRM members of parliament to support the move.

He wonders why government is concentrating on rehabilitating road networks in the Central and Western Uganda when the situation in Karamoja is almost becoming unbearable.

Stella Namoe Nyamera, the Napak woman MM accused government of neglecting Karamoja region. She said the issue of Lopei Bridge, the major Bridge in the region has always been put to the attention of the Minstry of Works but they have been neglecting it.

She says since the bridge was built by the British in the 1940s, government has never taken interest to repair it.

The current heavy rains have continued to devastate roads in Karamoja region.