Nteko-Buhoma road whose constitution started today is set to link Kisoro to Kanungu district covering a distance of three kilometers through Bwindi Impenetrable National Game Park.
According to the Uganda National Road Authority, they opted for the route through the game park because it is shorter and the previous route was going through neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo to link two Ugandan districts.
Additionally, the initial Nteko – DR Congo boundary of Buhoma road which is seventeen kilometers is seven kilometers longer than the Nteko – Bwindi National Park – Buhoma road having on Mr. Felix Beinamaryo the UNRA station manger, Kabale.
Intially, the road construction project was meant to deal with repairing the previous route as basing on a stakeholders meeting that was held earlier on, with Minister of Works and Transport, General Katumba Wamala in attendence, Kanungu Resident District Commission, Mr. Shafiq Ssekandi was entrusted with getting into talks with officials from North Kivu Province in neighboring Congo since the initial plan of the same road construction project cut through both countries.
“I have already contacted the authorities in the North Kivu Province as assigned by the stakeholder’s meeting and they told me that they were waiting for clearance from the Kinshasa government,” confirmed Mr Ssekandi.
Due to the bureaucracies involved , Kisoro District LC 5 chairperson Mr. Abel Bizimana said they chose to opt for the shorter route through the National game park.
So far, local residents have been urged to participate in clearing the road before it is handed over to the constructors, also, mandatory clearance from Uganda Wildlife Authority has held back works.
“We have involved local residents in Kisoro District to clear the bush and so far 3kms have been cleared. We have halted the opening because Uganda Wildlife Authority officials demanded an environmental Impact Assessment report before we can proceed to complete the remaining 4Kms of the planned Nteko-Bwindi National Park- Buhoma road,” stated Mr. Beinamaryo.
According to the National Parks’ Conservative manager, Mr. Nelson Guma the assessment report is done in a gazetted area such as the national park and is aimed at minimizing negative impact on the environment during the construction process.
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Although residents seem to be impatient with the delay as LC V chairperson Abel Bizimana warned saying;
“Anybody who tries to sabotage this shortcut road project will be risking the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest where it is expected to pass as the locals may get annoyed and burn it because they urgently need the road. The Ministry of Works and Transport has already confirmed that they have all the money needed to construct the road.”