The design of the proposed Arua City Monument that is under construction at the main roundabout along Pakwach Road has sparked an 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 the current Arua City Council.
According to the design, the monument is expected to be 49.5 metres 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 obstructed road users.
Jimmy Angubo, a resident of Arua Hill cell in the 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 is one of the people who are angry about the design of the monument. He says that the current design should be changed to prevent future accidents.
The President of the Arua City Development Forum, Caesar Draecabo, says that even though the monument is still being built, they have already heard from many people who are worried about accidents caused by a blocked 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 was crushed into an ambulance. The officer in charge of traffic at Arua central police station says there is an urgent need to review the design.
Jobile Cornelius, who is the deputy city clerk of Arua, has promised to talk to the developer about the monument’s design to see if it needs to be changed.
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 work. “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 dollar Arua Hill Stadium project, which the Arua municipality authorities handed over to Development Infrastructure for construction in 2019.