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Heavy Rain Worsens Appalling State of Shortcuts Along Kampala-Jinja Highway

Simon Muguluma a taxi driver notes that they are now choosing to stay in traffic jam for almost six hours on one stretch of Mbalala-Bweyogerere when it rains, rather than using shortcuts where they get stranded or vehicles break down making them incur heavy expenses.
A bodaboda rider traversing Nakawolole route carrying a pupil from school.

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Regular downpours in Mukono Municipality have worsened the already appalling state of roads used as shortcuts by travelers running away from the traffic jam along Kampala-Jinja high way.

The most damaged routes include Namuyenje-Kyawambogo, Lweza-Nabuti, Wantoni-Namubiru-Nakawolole, Bajjo-Serado and UCU-Kirowooza-Namilyango- kireku roads.

Most of the routes had gradually developed potholes since their grading and expansion at the beginning of last year by Mukono Municipality, but of late have become even worsened by the rains. 

Some other shortcut roads have developed big gulleys in the middle as a result of running water cutting off residents from crossing from various communities whenever it rains.

During the process of grading these roads, only earth works were done leaving them without constructed trenches to enable proper flow of running water. Other sections were planned to have culverts which are not yet installed and where they had been installed, have been washed away.

Simon Muguluma a taxi driver notes that they are now choosing to stay in traffic jam for almost six hours on one stretch of Mbalala-Bweyogerere when it rains, rather than using shortcuts where they get stranded or vehicles break down making them incur heavy expenses on repairs.

“The rainy season has left drivers operating along Kampala-Jinja road poor, if rain persists for more months, we are likely to sell off many of properties to settle loans, unless overnment upgrades the roads or else cut the charges and taxes levied on our vehicles,” Muguluma notes. 

Hanipha Nalubwama blames the municipality for the shoddy and delayed maintenance of roads but also the government for allowing factories to construct in wetlands without setting up a proper drainage system to divert water that ends up in the roads.  

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Isaac Kalyango a resident at Ngandu in Mukono municipality says as a community, they have mobilized a team of youths to stay on alert to save travelers and their properties from being swept away by running water in the road whenever it rains.

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Mukono Municipal Mayor George Fred Kagimu says unless the government through the Ministry of Works and Transport came to the communities’ rescue, the municipality  which lacks funds will not manage to maintain roads at this rate.

Kagimu also appeals to Uganda National Roads Authority-UNRA to maintain Kampala-Jinja highway degraded sections to ease movement. 

Whenever it rains vehicles carrying goods get stuck in mud at Kigunga as you enter Mukono town.

Allan Ssempebwa, Public and Media Relations Manager for UNRA has always promised that the section would be maintained and its drainage channel constructed but until serious rains started last month, it is still pending.

Meanwhile, Engineer Enoch Kalema, a specialist in road construction says developments set up in every community do  not affect roads but the poor planning and limited resources given to the contractors by the government affects the longevity of roads in most parts of the country. 

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