River Tangi has yet again burst its banks, cutting off parts of Pakwach and West Nile from the rest of the country. In November last year, the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) restored a culvert that was washed away by the floods. The floods forced some stranded travelers to use a dismantled railway line to cross over to Nwoya and Pakwach districts respectively.
According to the Pakwach district chairperson, Robert Steen Omito, the flooding started at 5:00 am on Tuesday morning, adding that he had cataloged the damage and shared it with the roads authority. He faulted UNRA for not providing a lasting solution. “They always do something that can only let vehicles pass, not bothering that if the water comes again, it may again destroy,” he said.
This recurring flooding has become a significant issue for the residents of Pakwach and West Nile. The River Tangi, prone to seasonal overflow, has repeatedly caused disruption and damages to the region.
Last year, UNRA undertook repairs, specifically focusing on the restoration of a culvert that had been washed away during the floods. However, despite these efforts, the river has once again surged beyond its banks, impacting the local populace.
The consequences of this natural disaster are not limited to the submerging of roads and properties. Stranded pedestrians were left to devise unconventional means of crossing the flooded areas. They resorted to using a dismantled railway line to make their way to Nwoya and Pakwach districts, highlighting the urgency of a more effective solution to the flooding problem.
District chairperson Robert Steen Omito, in response to the latest flood event, expressed his frustration with UNRA’s approach to the issue. He believes that the solutions implemented so far have been insufficient, as they primarily facilitate the passage of vehicles without considering the possibility of recurrent flooding and its destructive impact.
The cyclical flooding of River Tangi is a matter of great concern to the affected communities. They call for a comprehensive, long-term solution that not only facilitates transportation but also safeguards against future flooding events. The responsibility to address this issue effectively falls on the relevant authorities, including UNRA, who must work towards a more resilient and sustainable solution to prevent the periodic isolation of Pakwach and West Nile.