By Arua City Communication Team

Arua City Mayor, Wadri Sam Nyakua has expressed the City’s willingness to partner with East of Eden Limited, a private company that has committed to promoting innovative and affordable construction solutions along housing and mixed agricultural value chains.

The team from East of Eden recently visited the City with an intention to carry out a detailed mapping of the City and Divisions with the objective of identifying potential areas for upcoming agricultural and housing infrastructure projects. As per the plan, the City will provide the land, while the developer will invest the necessary funds to execute the projects.

While speaking at a high level leader’s engagement meeting held on 18th March 2024 at Arua City Council Hall with the development partner, East of Eden, the City Mayor reiterated that the proposed projects will change the lives of the people of Arua City. 

“The truth is that people have land, by law land belongs to the people. We are going to have negotiated engagements where everybody will be brought on board for a smooth flow,” Nyakua explained.

According to Nyakua, the proposed ventures by East of Eden are aimed at providing perpetual benefits to both the landowners who will sign memorandum of understanding with the developer, as well as generating revenue for the City Council. He said it is important to note that these undertakings are not intended to grab the land of the people.

“Through this arrangement, Arua City Council will get taxes and use it for developing other parts of the City,” Nyakua asserted.

Etukibo Moses, the City's Senior Monitoring and Evaluation Officer, who is coordinating the project on behalf of Arua City explains that the East of Eden initiative will tackle the housing deficit caused by the rapid urbanization of Arua City. The project will adopt the union process model, which connects households to registered primary societies affiliated with the West Nile Cooperative Union and as well as private individuals, social, and economic institutions that have positive and forward linkages to farmer organizations. Additionally, the project will include local participation by mapping all local skills and integrating them into the project implementation.

Arua City  top leadership posing for a group photo with the team from East of Eden after the meeting.


In February 2021, Arua City Council expressed their interest in having East of Eden develop proposed projects in the city. In the expression of interest, Arua City proposed development areas for an industrial park, business park, bus terminal, slum development, private hospital, modern public library, and apartments.

Sandra Zawedde, the Director of East of Eden, confirmed that they responded positively to the council's request that same year. Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 lockdown, not much progress was made during that period. 

Zawedde mentioned that they were given several tasks by the city, but when they arrived, they could not proceed as the Physical Development Plan of the city was not yet approved but now she is happy to know that the plan has finally been approved. She added that their proposed projects will provide several opportunities for the people of Arua and West Nile to benefit from,

 “For us as a country that is with a very low urbanization rate and with a very low urban rate. This project provides an opportunity for us to liberate the process of urbanization and overall national development. We will provide an opportunity to support proper urban planning and development,” Zawedde explained.

Zawedde stated that in December 2022, they signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the West Nile Cooperative Union farmers to establish 65,000 Housing units and improve agricultural infrastructure on secured land which served as their entry point to West Nile.

“We are glad that we came and agreed to collaborate with them and support the union in mixed development with all the farmers, however the first invitation was given by the City,” Zawedde said.

Ms Sandra Zawedde,the Director East of Eden addressing City Leaders during the engagement.

Kinyara Mike Watmon, the Project Economist of East of Eden, stated that they are excited to collaborate with individuals who have experience in constructing homes within the city. He assured that their housing project will not cost more than 300USD per square meter, as their primary objective is to reduce the cost of construction. 

Kinyara further added that the company will incorporate state-of-the-art technology to cut down on the building expenses, which have already been approved by the government. This technology would also help to reduce waste produced on building sites at an affordable price.

“We are now at an advanced stages because we have done the standardization of our materials and technologies which we are to use have been put in conformity with the National Building Board under the Ministry of Works and Transport and now establishing partnerships with local financial partners,” Kinyara said.

The proposed projects are hinged on land unlocking processes that will involve various actions such as titling, expropriation, and renewing leases, among others. These shall also be carried out in a transparent and participatory session that will involve all stakeholders.

Muzhaid Khemis, the Mayor of Arua Central Division, expressed great enthusiasm about the partnership with East of Eden. He urged the developer to give top priority to the construction of Gaaga Textile Market, which occupies a titled land of six acres. The Mayor explained that the market's construction could potentially generate over 2 billion shillings in local revenue for the City Council.

David Kyasanku, the Town Clerk of Arua City, stated that the positive interaction with the team from East of Eden illustrates the City's willingness to develop. However, any resolutions must adhere to the necessary government processes. 

“Everything concerning public land should go through the required processes and later submitted to the Ministry of Local Government and finally to Parliament for approval,” Kyasanku said.

According to Charles Ichogor, the Resident City Commissioner of Arua City, East of Eden Company is a trusted Ugandan investor and the Office of the President is aware of their efforts.

“Arua is now a city. We cannot develop Arua using local revenue. We need investors,” Ichogor asserted.”

The City Commissioner requested the leadership of the company to quickly document the project concept for Arua City leaders to comprehend which will be a precursor for the project initiation.

East of Eden is the sole licensee of the SANFER system construction solution in Africa dully approved by the Ugandan authority for use and commitment to a sustainable development mission with strategic investments in key sectors of the economy including health, education, and sustainable communities with infrastructure as the key enabler.