Proposed Arua City Monument Draws Protests

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The design of the proposed Arua city monument that is under construction at the main roundabout along Pakwach road has sparked uproar among residents. The monument is being constructed by the Development Infrastructure (DI), under a Public Private Partnership (PPP) between the then Arua Municipal Council and now Arua city council.

According to the design, the monument is expected to be 49.5 meters high and will comprise three giant advertising screens, a museum, a coffee restaurant, and a viewing tower among others. However, the residents say the monument could turn into a blackspot for accidents because of obstructing road users.

Jimmy Angubo, a resident of Arua hill cell in Arua city central division says that the proposed monument is likely to be a point of distraction to motorists and other road users. He says a simple structure would be the best to prevent the monument from becoming a black spot.

James Dramani, one of those angered by the design of the monument, says that the current design should be revised to avoid accidents in the future.

Ceaser Draecabo, the President of Arua City Development Forum notes that although the monument is still undergoing construction, they have already received concerns about numerous accidents resulting from an obstructed view.

Records at the Arua central police traffic department indicate that at least 10 accidents have been recorded at the Pakwach road roundabout where the proposed monument is located. The latest incident occurred two weeks ago after a boda boda cyclist crushed into an ambulance. Musa Okwi, the officer in charge of traffic at Arua central police station says there is an urgent need to review the design.

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Jobile Cornelius, the deputy Arua city clerk has pledged to engage the developer within their mandate to see if there is a need to change the design of the monument.

In an earlier interview, Joel Aita, the Executive Director of Development Infrastructure downplayed the fears of the residents, saying all this was carefully considered before the commencement of the works. “We shall construct an underground tunnel for people to access the monument from Arua Hill stadium”, he said. The proposed Arua City Monument is part of the multi-billion Arua Hill Stadium project the then Arua municipality authorities handed over to Development Infrastructure for construction in 2019.

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