Mbale. Barely eight months after President Museveni commissioned the Tororo-Mbale-Soroti highway, the road is already riddled with potholes that have made it almost impassable.
Dott Services Ltd, a construction company, embarked on the Shs200 billion roadworks in November 2010 and the works were completed in May 2015.
Mbale District engineer William Nangosya told Daily Monitor that the road is getting damaged because of poor workmanship and poor supervision regarding quality of the materials used.
“When you are designing a road, you must cater for its lifespan, which in this case, might not have been done. Another reason is that the road is still under the contractor because they are expecting money from the World Bank to fix it and whatever damage that is on the road for now, the contractor has to come and fix it at his own cost,” said Mr Nangosya.
He said for better road- works, there is need to closely supervise the type of materials being used and whether the mixture is up to date, adding that this explains why parts of the road are getting eroded.
“How do you construct a road whose lifespan is 20 years and it begins cracking before it even makes one year, this is a shame and a heavy cost to taxpayers of this country,” said Mr Nangosya.
The road users said although there was improvement of the road, the works done are below standard. “I think Uganda National Roads Authority did not do its work of road inspection before President Museveni commissioned it. How do you commission a road whose new bridges and works have already cracked? These people should be blacklisted,” said Mr Jonathan Magomu, a driver.
Mr Davis Mwaule, the former speaker Mbale Municipality, said it was unfortunate that the company was given another contract on Mbale-Tirinyi road. “They have spoilt the Tororo-Mbale-Soroti road and government has again given them Mbale-Tirinyi road to spoil again,” he said.
Asked for a comment, the UNRA head of maintenance Mr Joseph Otim, said he had inspected the road two weaks ago and the contractor had embarked on fixing the broken parts. “When you finish a road you cannot be 100 per cent sure that it will be fine. We give them (contractors) a defects liability period of one year. If there are any errors, the contractor rectifies the defects on the road. There are always isolated areas like swamps which need remedial works,” said Mr Otim.
When contacted, however, the director DOTT Services Ltd, Mr Reddy Prasad, claimed he was not aware of the sections of the road collapsing, adding that the road was perfectly done.