After 13 years of unsuccessful demands for the reconstruction of the Kamdini-Lira road, the people of Lango have decided to take the matter into their own hands. On an unnamed day next week, both men and women from the Lango sub-region will be marching naked to the World Bank offices in Kampala.
Since 2009, the project funded by the World Bank is still pending reconstruction.
Under the theme ‘Lango Lives Matter,’ the peaceful demonstration is a way of expressing disgruntledness of the bad state of the highway which residents say is a ‘tragic death trap.’
In an interview earlier today with RX Radio’s Fatboy and Olive Najjuma on The Fatboy show, Patrick Odongo the leader of the planned protest revealed that whereas other protestors might be half-naked, he will be in his full birthday suit.
“I will be completely naked, others will be in a state of nakedness, some in their underpants but for me as a leader I will be completely naked,” he stated.
According to Odongo, the poor state of the Kamdini-Lira road has not only got transported products destroyed numerous times but also continues to claim the lives of motorists and pedestrians.
“The road is a 50-kilometer stretch that would ordinarily take 30 minutes to drive on. Right now, it takes four hours. This is the main road that takes goods to South Sudan, the eastern DRC, to the greater Northern Uganda and West Nile, so you can imagine the amount of traffic on the road, which is full of potholes. Many accidents happen causing traffic jam, lives and property of people are being lost,” he explained.
He claimed that the World Bank responsible for funding of the road decided to withhold the funds relating it to environmental concerns, yet using the road has become nothing but a deathtrap.
“The World Bank does budget support for governments around the world and yet the money is directed to buying arms and funding wars. It has no worry in creating havoc around the world yet when it comes to its core mandate of bringing development, it wants to be dragged,” Odongo added.
He explained that the World Bank and IMF are not charities but are mandated to promote development of member states. However by failing to do their role, the protestors have to let the world know by causing it international shame.
Asked why they were going after the World Bank and not against the responsible Government agencies such as Uganda National Roads Authority, he said, “The World Bank is not a donor to Uganda. Uganda is a shareholder and a member. The World Bank has a responsibility and a mandate, and is expected to meet their obligations and responsibility which in this case is contributing to 70% funding to the construction of this road that they have since failed to do,” he said.
According to Odongo, the strike is to attract international attention and “to shine a light” towards the World Bank Uganda’s irresponsibility and delay in reconstructing the road given its substandard state.
The Fatboy show is hosted by James Onen aka Fatboy, Olive, Sarah and Lesham every weekday from 6am to 10am on RX Radio.