BY FEDERICK DRAMADRI
ARUA: THURSDAY, JUNE 16, 2022
Dr Ronald McGill confirmed that despite Uganda having 11 regional cities without plans, available funds could only allow them to prioritize four cities of which Arua city is the first one to get a physical development plan.
The others to get their physical development plans within the next one year are Gulu, Jinja and Mbarara cities.
“Physical development plan should be everyone’s responsibility as far as the implementation to foster local developments,” Dr McGill, the project lead with Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) who helped develop the plan stated.
Arua City’s plan covers the period 2022 to 2040, envisaging an industrial park, commercial hubs, agricultural areas and residential areas.
Jacky Kemigisha, a member of the national physical planning board noted that many urban centers deviate from their original plans due to less or none involvement of stakeholders from the initial stages.
Previous physical development plans for Arua have been messed up by corrupt officials who parceled out land recklessly including authorizing transaction of road reserves leading to disorderly development.
Kemigisha challenge city Authorities to do vigorous sensitization to avoid cost implications during the implementation of the new physical plan.
“Ayivu is still a virgin area without proper infrastructure. The city mast make it a priority to open up infrastructure including roads as provided for by the physical development plan as they are going to inform the actual development,” guided Kemigisha.
“Secondly, sensitize people about the plan so that they own and notice the space to be utilized by them and those by the council,” she added.
Arua city’s 2022-2040 Physical Development Plan describes the city as 60% rural with an estimated land scale of approximately 401.8 square kilometers with a population estimate of 361,400 people.
Samuel David Wafula, an urban planning specialist attached to Mott- Macdonald, encouraged the city leadership to market the plan and ensure boundaries are secured.
“The city has expanded, it is now a big area and as I moved across the city I noticed that most of these boundaries are not demarcated. This is a recipe for encroachment,” he warned.
Wafula advised the Arua city planners to focus on critical areas of service delivery within the 60% agrarian areas of the city.
Among major features in Arua city plan are construction of low cost housing in Kenya ward, residential housing in Oluko, and recreational area in Niva Crescent, detailed growth plan for Lia and Odramacaku border markets and an Industrial park on the Eastern flung in Riki Cell, Oluko.
The mayor of Arua city, Sam Wadri Nyakua, admitted that most of the development activities in the city have been taking place without planning.
“Let us expedite the process of understanding the Physical Development Plan of the city. We need to preach about the plan so that every citizen understands it,” Nyakua said.