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Slow Business at Kitgum Bus Park as Public Transport Resumes

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.
One of the taxis plying Kitgum Karenga route loading passengers this morning at Kitgum Main Bus Park.

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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.

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