The changing face of Kampala City roads

Monday August 03 2020

The Ntinda stretcher road under construction. PHOTOS | KELVIN ATUHAIRE

City authorities have selected more roads for upgrade to ease urban mobility and reduce traffic snarl-ups.
The new roads will be upgraded with a $288m loan (about Shs1 trillion) from the African Development Bank (ADB).
In an interview with this newspaper last week, Mr Andrew Kitaka, the Kampala Capital City Authority Authority’s (KCCA) director of engineering and technical services, said ADB has already endorsed the loan, adding that it will be the biggest project.

“The procurement process is now on and once the best contractor is selected, construction of these roads will commence,” he said without offering details when the process will end.
According to the project plan, the civil works will be packaged and tendered as five lots under separate contracts. Some of the roads will have signalised junctions to ease traffic flow.
First Lot
The first lot includes Wamala Road (4.40km), Luwafu Road (2.43km), Kabega Road (0.95km), Mutesa I road (2.02km), Old Mubende road (2.10km), Canon Apollo Kivebulaya/Albert Cook Road junction (0.30km), Bulange junction (0.30km), Kayemba/Lukuli Road (1.34km, including one junction) and Kigala Road (1.10km, including one junction).
Second Lot
Portbell Road (6.55km, including two junctions) and Old Portbell road/Spring Road (3.46km, including four junctions).
Third Lot
Eighth Street Namuwongo (2.73km), Fifth Street (0.80km including one junction), Sixth Street (1.95km), Seventh Street (1.86km), Sir Apollo Kaggwa (2.24km), Ssuna Road I (4.16km including one junction), Ssuna Road II (2.58km) and Ggaba road/Muyenga Road junction at Kabalagala (0.42km).
Fourth Lot
Kasubi-Northern Bypass (2.40km, including one junction), Queensway (Clock Tower to Kibuye junction 0.9km, including upgrade of Kibuye junction to traffic signals), Salaama Road (8.15km), Kyebando Ring II (1.80km) and Kisaasi Road II (2.14km). Lot 4 also includes 5km of storm water drainage works on the Northern Bypass.
Fifth Lot
Mugema Road (3.44km, including two junctions), Masiro Road (2.10km) Sentema Road (4.10km), Nsambya Road/Hanlord Road junction (0.52km).

Recent statistics from KCCA shows that there has been a significant improvement of the city’s network with more kilometres being paved.
For instance, more than 210kms of roads have been upgraded to Bitumen and more than 500kms of gravel roads maintained with dual lanes.
KCCA has also been able to reconfigure and install responsive functional traffic signals at major city junctions.

Mr Kitaka said the city had only nine signalised junctions when KCCA took over management of the city in April 2011.

However, KCCA has managed to install more traffic lights at strategic junctions such as Fairway junction, Makerere Hill Road, Kira Road, among others to ease traffic flow.

Mr Kitaka also said a project worth $23m (Shs84b) with a grant by Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is scheduled to start and will have a traffic control centre for all junctions.


Mr Kitaka said with the ongoing projects and contracts signed, Kampala city will have 80 signalised junctions.

The chairperson of Uganda Transporters Development Agency, Mr Mustapha Mayambala, said while KCCA has made progress on upgrading city roads, there is need to also consider roads in all city divisions.
“The concentration has only been on those roads that are in the city yet the status of roads in divisions is alarming. If the roads in divisions too are upgraded, it could help reduce the traffic on city roads because most Passenger Service Vehicles in the city use divisions,” he said.
Ongoing road projects
Currently, there is an ongoing upgrade of five roads of the second batch of KIIDP-2.
The roads are Kulambiro-Ring Road (Nakawa Division), John Babiiha Road/Acacia (Central Division), Nakawa-Ntinda Road (Nakawa Division), Lukuli Road (Makindye Division), and Kabusu-Bunamwaya-Lweza Road (Rubaga).


The John Babiiha-Acacia Avenue Road will have four lanes.

According to the construction plan, John Babiiha Avenue/Acacia road, which measures 1.5km will be widened from two lanes into four lanes and will have six signalised junctions.

The Nakawa-Ntinda Road which measures 2.8km will be widened from the current two lanes into four lanes and will have four signalised junctions.

Kulambiro-Ring Road which measures 4.8km will be widened into two lanes and one junction while Najeera Link on the same road which measures 0.8km will also be widened into two lanes. Construction of Kulambiro-Ring, road John Babiiha, and Nakawa-Ntinda roads will cost Shs97b.

Kabusu-Bunamwaya-Lweza Road which measures 8kms will be widened into two lanes and will also have two signalised junctions. The road will cost Shs97b. Lukuli Road, which measures 8km, will be widened into four lanes, and will have a junction at Kayembe. It will cost Shs68b.

The roads will also have marked lanes, walkways, closed drainage, and solar street lights.

A 2017 World Bank report on the role of city governments in economic development of greater Kampala states that while the existing roads in Kampala were constructed in 1960’s to accommodate only 100,000 vehicles per day, there are approximately 400,000 vehicles which use Kampala roads every day.

KCCA road projects
KCCA has over the years upgraded a number of roads in the city but some remain unpaved due to the low resource envelope. Most of the road network in Kampala has been constructed under the Kampala Infrastructural and Institutional Development Project, a five-year World Bank-funded project.
The project seeks to, among others, reconstruct and widen city roads, converting roads into dual courage, upgrading gravel roads to tarmac, signalising junctions, designing and constructing drainage channels and updating a multi-modal urban transport master plan.

It is being implemented across all the five city divisions of Kampala. These include Kampala central, Nakawa, Kawempe, Rubaga and Makindye. KCCA took over a road network of 1,200kms in 2011 but when a new road inventory was conducted in 2015, it was established that the city had a total road network of 2,110kms.