After months of anticipation, October 2020 has been scheduled as the month for the completion of the New Arua Central Market.
Construction for the market set to accommodate at least 4,600 vendors in Arua Municipality commenced in February 18 2018 under the aegis of the Markets and Agricultural Trade Improvement Project initiative.
However, against the backdrop of a devastating Covid-19 Pandemic, there have been fears within the general public that the Shs 34.9 billion undertaking might trudge.
Speaking to ChimpReports on August 24, 2020, Hudson Mayombwe, Dotts Service’s Quality Control Manager, said all is going according to plan.
“Right now we have reached around 90% of the works because as you can see they are doing painting and the other work that is remaining is the final cleaning,” he said.
He intimated that concrete work, roofing, block works and roofing had all been completed.
“By October, we need to deliver this project,” Mayombwe reassured.
The project’s overall goal is to contribute to poverty reduction and economic growth in Uganda through improved selling of farm produce and other commodities.
The market is expected to improve marketplace economic and social infrastructure, so as to stimulate production and sales of basic agricultural produce, promote merchants’ growth income, reduce post-harvest losses, and increase job creation and customer satisfaction.
The contractor, Dott Services, intimated that construction works were slowed by works on a nearby road.
“We had a road called Duka road, so it was under construction. And this being the main access, we used to have our mixers down here so we couldn’t go the other side,” Mayombwe elaborated.
“Right now we know that we also have covid in the country. So hardware shops were closed, transportation was an issue whereby you had some workers who had travelled to see their families in Kampala but couldn’t travel back,” he stated further.
Considering its strategic position, the market situated in Arua City is likely to stimulate inter-state trade between Uganda and neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
According to a 2018 Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) report, Uganda’s monitored exports to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in 2017 were valued at 3,450,681,651 Dollars.
On the other hand, the value of imports from DRC handled through core trade infrastructure was worth 5,676,566, 914 Dollars.
To leverage on this potential, the Government of Uganda (GOU) working with Dott Services have moved to accelerate provision of water services within the border town.
Contrary to the past, the area now boasts of the 3.5 million water storage facility at Girigiri and two waste treatment plants in Dadamu subcounty among many other facilities, according to Sowedi Kibuuka a site surveyor with Dott Services.
“I can’t estimate but the population of Arua is close to 700,000 people. Those accessing water might be less, but a good percentage of that, we can take like 60%,” said Kibuuka .