The emergence of cracks on the multi-billion Arua main market has triggered concerns from Vendors in Arua City.
The market constructed under the Market and Agricultural Trade Improvement Program-MATIP II developed cracks just days after vendors occupied it, in what was supposed to be a celebration after enduring more than two years of poor sanitation, lack of space and coldness in a makeshift market.
Nelson Dada the chairman General of Arua Main market said many of the Vendors are now scared after sighting the cracks. Many fear that in the event of any underground instability like earthquakes, it could cause damage to lives and property.
According to Dada, they have informed the City officials about the matter and are now waiting for an official response to their concerns.
However, Engineer Joel Aita of Joadah Consultants and the Supervising Engineer for the Arua Main Market Construction said that what they are seeing as cracks are expansion joints that were mistakenly covered and painted by the Contractor.
Aita said that the facility was properly constructed with artificial ‘cracks’ to allow for expansion and contraction of the building. He adds that even if there are cracks, the Contractor still has a liability period of one year after the handover to fix any problems on the facility.
Due to pressure from the Vendors, the Ministry of Trade and Industry was forced to allocate the stalls and lockups in the main market for occupation by the Vendors as preparations are being done by the Ministry of Local government to officially Commission the facility this month. There are over 5,000 registered Vendors in the Arua Main market but the new market has accommodated less than 3,000 of them.
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