The government imposed a second lockdown in mid-June following a spike in COVID-19 infections and deaths. It also issued several restrictions among them the suspension of public transport, which were lifted on Friday with taxis now advised to carry only 50 per cent of their licenced capacity.
There is low business at Kitgum
Main Bus Park in Kitgum Municipality as public transportation resumes
more than a month after a lockdown which instituted to curb the
spread of coronavirus disease.
The government imposed a second
lockdown in mid-June following a spike in COVID-19 infections and deaths. It also issued several restrictions among them the suspension
of public transport, which were lifted on Friday with taxis now advised to carry only 50 per cent of their licenced capacity.
However, in Kitgum Municipality, few travellers,
taxi and bus operators were visible this morning at the once-bustling taxi and bus
park. Onek Hamza, who
operates a taxi
between Kitgum and Agago District says very few passengers turned up to
travel this morning, and he had only received four passengers by 9 am,
unlike the past when taxis would fill up faster to start their journies.
Onek says that they have also hiked transport fares from 15,000 to 20,000 Shillings since
they are carrying passengers at half capacity and believes the increment has
affected the passengers’ budgets.
Luo//cue in; “Dano no like…
Cu out…ma bino anyim.”//
Johnson Nyeko Paulino, another
Taxi Operator plying the Kitgum Karenga route equally shares a similar plight. Nyeko says since morning, he had
only got five passengers who were also contesting the hiked transport
fares. He says they increased the fare from 20,000 to 40,000 Shillings.
Luo//cue in; “yoo bot wa…
Cue out…mo manok dong.”//
A passenger who only identified herself
as Albina says she had to foot 15,000 Shillings for a short journey from Kitgum
Municipality to Kalabong Parish in Namokora North Sub-county.
Luo//cue in; “aa Iot…
Cue out…dano obed agonya.”//
However, some of the bus
operators started their businesses on a good note this morning. Jackeline Acan, a Courier Clerk
at Homeland Bus Company says many passengers mostly businessmen and women
started booking for bus seats over the weekend after the president announced the resumption
of the public transportation.
She says by this morning, their
bus had been fully boarded while more were still continuing to make bookings. According
to Acan, they are currently charging shillings 20,000 to Gulu city and 60,000 Shillings for those travelling to Kampala.
//Cue in; “yesterday we received…
Cue out…for that time.”//
Jackson Komakech, the Acting
Kitgum Main Bus park chairperson told Uganda Radio Network in an interview that
they have tasked all bus and taxi operators to have in place sanitisers for their passengers.
He also noted that they have
installed handwashing facilities at all entrances and exits of the bus park to
ensure compliance among taxi touts, drivers, and passengers accessing and exiting
the facility. Komakech says only two buses, Makome Bus services Ltd and Homeland Bus Company had left the bus Park for Kampala.