By Bazio Doreen,  

On July 27th, 2023, a team from African Development Bank (ADB) and Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA), visited Ma'di Sub Region to interact with its leaders and give a status update on the progress of updating the 37km Laropi - Afoji road and 14 meters bridge. 

 According to the UNRA team leader, Eng. Edward Byaruhanga, the progress of the road is moving on as planned, and the road was considered because it is anticipated that it will connect the Atiak-Omi road through Moyo District to Koboko District. He also added that UNRA will consider 

 This followed a request by the District Chairperson, represented by Secretary for Finance, Hon. Adrupio Irene Appi, who promised on behalf of the local leaders to mobilize the local leaders and communities in Adjumani to embrace, own and participate actively in the project to make it a success. Meanwhile, he also informed the meeting that the compensation process was in its last stages. 

 On his part, the Chief Administrative Officer, Mr. Oryon Grandfield Omonda, pledged commitment and promised to form a select committee at the district that can support the project team especially when interacting with land owners. 

 On the other hand, the team leader of ADB urged the community to embrace the upcoming road construction that is expected to expand the market for Ma'di Sub Region to the West Nile and the neighboring South Sudan. 

The development of the Laropi bridge was identified under the National Development Plan III as the required infrastructure to facilitate connectivity across the River Nile in order to enhance improved household incomes and quality of life in the region. According to the project design, the proposed bridge will have a 7m carriage width, 2m shoulders, 2m walkway, and standard Paved Class II approach roads. The proposed Laropi-Umi bridge will be located at a spot where the Atiak-Laropi road which is currently under development intersects with Laropi-Moyo-Afoji on River Nile.

While speaking during the official launch of the Laropi Bridge Advocacy and Lobbying strategy at Laropi town council in Moyo district earlier this year, Tom Alero Aza, the West Moyo County Member of Parliament, noted that using the ferry to cross the Nile is no longer sufficient and sustainable due to the increased number of travelers.

 According to data at UNRA, the Laropi/Umi ferry has a capacity of 120 tonnes and carries an average of 1,500 to 1,800 people per day with a minimum of 12 trips and a maximum of 22 trips. The ferry has a capacity of 180 passengers and a cargo of 90 tonnes.