Gulu district has started scouting in Awach Town Board in Aswa County for a suitable location for its administrative headquarters ahead of the planned elevation of Gulu Municipality to city status in July.
The district is also planning for the expansion of the administrative boundaries of the Town Board found 33-Kilometers North East of Gulu Town to a 4-Kilometer radius up from 2-Kilometers currently.
The District Planning Unit is working jointly with the Faculty of Physical Planning and Survey at Makerere University to accomplish the job.
Martin Ojara Mapenduzi, the Chairperson Gulu District Local government, says they are already scouting the Town Board to find suitable locations to place local government facilities including lagoons, telecommunications and electricity lines.
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Mapenduzi says they decided to plan early enough to prevent speculative developers from interfering with proper planning of the area with the hope fetching huge compensations from government. He says they plan to build a separate Sports stadium at the new district headquarters.
Under the new development, Awach Sub County will also vacate its current headquarter to Gwengdiya Parish where Aswa County headquarters currently operates from. Mapenduzi says the planning will also extend to the newly created sub counties in the district.
According to Mapenduzi, the ongoing planning opts to hook the new Gulu town onto giant water lines supplying Gulu city from River Nile at Karuma through Unyama Township.
He says geophysical surveys taken in the area indicates that it is cheaper to pump water from River Nile than from Aswa River valley, north of the Town Board due to its elevation above sea level.
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Parliament is expected to gazette Gulu Municipality, a regional city alongside Mbarara, Mbale and Arua Municipalities. The planned development has triggered economic and political fever in Gulu town.
Politicians are struggling to stay afloat in the city while the business community is anxious to cash in on new business opportunities.
Patrick Oola Lumumba, the Bar Dege Division LC III chairperson, says he has embarked on early preparations to mint money from the city.
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The other Lumumba says is the introduction of fruit farming to supply the city with wines.
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Lucy Laker, a graduate of Public Administration, says she is already warming up for city jobs.Over the last three years, Gulu Municipality has been undergoing robust infrastructure development, thanks to the World Bank funded Uganda Support to Municipal Infrastructure Development Programme USMID.
New roads have been paved and old ones upgraded into bitumen in the five year project.