BY RICHARD DRASIMAKU
ARUA: FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 2021
Khemis Muzaid of the opposition Forum for Democratic Change who is the incoming mayor for Arua Central Division has said keeping Arua city clean is his top priority for the next five years.
“Central Division is the face of Arua City therefore it needs to be clean. Ayivu Division in the outskirts will just be like a village division,” he said.
However he underscored that central to him achieving this dream would be the involvement of the Bodaboda cyclists, an idea he says he learned from the Rwandan Capital Kigali.
He reasoned that because Bodabodas (motorcycle taxi riders) are everywhere, they can easily help to stop littering.
“When I came back from the tour in Kigali I immediately organised the bodabodas in River Oli Division the way the Rwandans did theirs. this time I will do it for the whole central Division,” he said in an interview with Kigezi News Agency.
Muzaid said due to the robust organisation, bodabodas in Kigali are more prosperous than their Arua counterparts because they are able to get contracts for public sanitation.
He also outlined health service improvement and security as key to attracting investors.
Muzaid noted that the youth livelihood programme had improved the welfare of some youths such as the 52 groups in River Oli Division where he is the LC3 chairman, but he regrets the shifting of government’s focus to Emyooga programme claiming that it has been over politicized.
He appealed to community based organisations to come up with environmentally friendly proposals and partner with the Division council to protect it’s ecosystem.
Arua Central Division has seen rapid urbanization since the decimation of the West Nile Bank Front rebels and the signing of a peace agreement between the government of Uganda and the Uganda National Rescue Front II rebels in 2002.
According to a Spatial Assessment of Urban Sprawl, a research conducted by the Computer and Information Science Department of Muni University in collaboration with the Egyptian Journal of Remote Sensing and Space Technology in 2017, Arua Central Division, then a municipality, had only 18.2% of its total area built up in 2001.
This increased to 28.8% in 2010 and 40.9% in 2016 and the city’s urbanization is projected to reach 57.4% by 2031 thereby calling for the need to protect both the agricultural lands and the ecosystems from land consuming urbanization.