Pozzolana truck drivers are up in arms against Kichwamba Sub County council for increasing the levy on their trucks. Pozzolana is a fine, sandy volcanic ash, which can form compounds possessing cement-like properties.
It can be used for making concrete structures or combined with other elements to fortify cement. In Uganda pozzolanic deposits are found in the mountainous Rwenzori region and in Kisoro district. Several miners in Kichwamba sell the material directly to Hima Cement factory, construction companies and builders in and around Kabarole district.
Kichwamba Sub County have been levying UGX 10,000 on each truck carrying Pozzolana. However, the council has increased the levy to UGX 20,000 to the chagrin of the truck drivers. Records from Kabarole district show that 65% of the revenue from the trucks is shared between Kichwamba Sub County and the district. In his letter to the truck drivers Paul Businge, the chairperson Kichwamba Sub County works committee says the increment takes effect next year in January.
Businge says they increased the money because all the roads in the sub county have been affected by the heavy tonnage of the trucks that sometimes transport pozzolana to Kasese and other areas. The most affected roads are Harugongo-Kichwamba and Busaiga-Nombe, which have been rendered impassable.
He says that the money the drivers have been paying isn\'t enough since they have to repair the road every two weeks. According to Businge, the money will help maintain the roads at least three times a month.
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Benjamin Nkoojo, the chairperson pozzolana truck drivers association has criticized the increment saying that they should have been consulted before the decision was made.
He says they can't afford the money and has vowed to mobilize the truck drivers to reject the increment. Nkoojo also says that the association through cooperate social responsibility has been supporting institutions like schools in the sub county, so there is no need for the increment.
Prosper Businge, the secretary of the district works committee says that tarmac roads are the only permanent solution to the poor state of the roads in Kichwamba. He however says that it would cost the district a lot of money since it is impossible to raise it from the district\'s local revenue.