Arua-Construction of the long awaited modern market for Arua starts today with ground breaking.
The construction should have started in first in 2010 and was postponed to 2015 but delayed as there was no proper land titles and wrangles among the vendors and lack of alternative land for relocation.
The African Development Bank funded project has so far the ones in Gulu, Jinja, Mbarara completed within time and Arua lagged behind.
During the ground breaking, the Minister for Local government, Tom Butime, said the municipal council should closely monitor the progress. “It is good that you people gave land willingly unlike in other areas where it was difficult to get land. But we shall all ensure that there is value for money in this project,” he said.
Minister Butime hands over the certificate to the contractor.
The vendors have now been relocated to Arua Hill and near social center along Ediofe road. Butime said there was need for transparency in allocating the market stalls once it is complete for occupation. Most local governments like the municipalities, rely heavily on local revenues from the markets which is the epitome for its development.
As a result, the council has been losing revenue as vendors established several illegal market points on the streets making the town look disorganised.
The State Minister for Northern Uganda, Grace Kwiyocwiny said the vendors should work hard and ensure that they fight poverty through growth of their economy. “I know you people as hardworking people, so use this market to fight poverty because the space would create more business opportunities,” she said.
The grader starting the leveling of the site of the market today. Photos by Felix
Already, the graders and tipper lorries have been lined to start the work. It is expected that tomorrow (Tuesday) the place would be fenced off ready for construction. The district leaders warned the contractors against shoddy work and not giving opportunity for the skilled and unskilled people from the West Nile region. They said the project would be terminated if there is any breach of contract, but would be done within the law.
The Chairperson for Market Vendors Association, Nelson Dada, said: “We were squeezed in small market for a long time. We all need this market to come faster so that our people are comfortable and not beaten by rain like in the past. We shall ensure that there is no shoddy work done on this project.”
M/s Sadem Al Kuwait Construction Company and Dott Services Limited are to construct the market. It will be supervised by Joadah Consults Limited.
The market construction is expected to be completed within 24 months (2 years) at the cost of Shs 34.9 billion funded by African Development Bank.