KAKUMIRO/KAGADI. Residents of Kakumiro and Kagadi cannot hold their joy as construction of the Mubende-Kakumiro-Kagadi road takes shape.
A section of residents have now put up roadside markets on the already completed section of the road to tap into business opportunities through selling their merchandise.
The residents, mostly farmers, are selling different foodstuffs to the people driving on the new road, which had over the years been shunned by motorists because of its sorry state.
The 104km road is being constructed by China Communication Construction Company (CCCC) at a cost of more than Shs480 billion.
About 45kms of the road have already been completed, to the excitement of people who usually travel from Mubende to Kakumiro, Kibaale and Kagadi districts.
Now, with the completed section lying between Kibaale Town in Kibaale District to Kibambula Trading Centre in Kakumiro District, foodstuffs such as bananas (matooke), beans, cassava and fruits are displayed on stalls all day long.
Others are assembling charcoal bags beside the road to tap into opportunities coming with increased traffic on the road.
Mr Gerald Turinawe, a resident of Kasongoire in Matale Sub-county, Kibaale District, is among the dozens of people who vend matooke at Busesa Trading Centre.
‘‘The road has already started helping us because as you can see, the place is like a full market. You cannot come here with matooke and fail to get customers. We are surviving on this roadside market,” Mr Turinawe said.
He said with the proceeds from the roadside sale of matooke, he will increase the size of his banana plantation before venturing into vegetable gardens.
Away from the roadside markets, the new road has led to the rapid increase in value for land as people are set to tap into the available opportunities.
Mr Denis Kugonza from Kasojo Trading Centre in Bwanswa Sub-county, Kibaale District, said the cost of a 50x100ft plot of land has doubled from Shs4m to Shs8m.
‘‘The coming of the tarmac has increased the price of land here. All people want to build on the main road and that has increased the value,” he said.
The Kakumiro District secretary for works, transport and technical services, Mr Eriya Twebaze, said upon completion, the road will increase the local revenue base because of increased investments.
Advice. President Museveni, during his recent tour of Bunyoro sub-region, encouraged the people in the area to use the oil roads being constructed to increase their household incomes.
“The roads are for all people but how are you going to use them? Here, people should look at wealth creation and skills specialisation. People should be in commercial agriculture, small scale factories, and services like catering, hair dressing and food processing, among others,” the President said.
The President said oil roads such as Buhimba-Nalweyo-Igayaza-Kakumiro; Masindi-Biso; Kabaale-Kizirafumdi; Hohwa-Nyairongo-Kyarushesha-Butole; and Hoima- Butiaba -Wanseko, would be worked on.