Motorists complain over poor state of Kampala-Jinja road

Two trucks on a potholed section of the Kampala-Jinja highway at Mabiraa forest.  PHOTO | DENIS EDEMA

What you need to know:

  • Residents have staged several protests and sometimes block the road over what they call government inaction to fix the road, which they say has increased  road carnage.

Motorists using the Kampala-Jinja highway have decried the poor state of the road despite numerous promises by Uganda National Roads Authority (Unra) to repair the damaged section of the highway.

 A number of motorists have since last year been complaining about the deteriorating state of the road , particularly the section between Lugazi and Mbiko which is dotted with gaping holes next to each other.

This has on several occasions forced residents in the area to  stage protests and sometimes block the road over what they call government inaction to fix the road, which they say has increased  road carnage  in the area.

 Last month, residents of Lugazi, Bulyantete,  and Mbiko  staged a demonstration where they blocked the Jinja-Kampala highway, after a truck rammed into a building after hitting a pothole and the driver lost  control.

Mr  Haruna  Musoke, a taxi driver plying the Kampala-Jinja route , said  motorists struggle to dodge the potholes in order to prevent their  vehicles from getting damaged.

“Our bosses don’t  want to hear that the vehicle has developed a  mechanical problem, all  they  want  is their money even if  the vehicle  gets a small problem, they ask us to fix it using our money ,” he said in an interview on Thursday 

He added that ministers and Unra officials use the same road, but they don’t feel the potholes because many drive expensive, powerful vehicles with high ground clearance that can easily navigate potholes.

The Njeru Central Division chairperson, Mr Michael Odeba, said there is an urgent need to fix the potholes to reduce the accidents happening in the area and also to open the blocked drainage systems.

 “We have registered many accidents in the area as a result of the poor drainage systems and potholes. As Unra works on the  road ,they should also  consider putting a flyover and humps in Mbiko and Nakibizzi because these two are  busy  trading centres ,” he said

  Ms Hellen Butoto, the Ssezibwa regional police spokesperson, said many road accidents  are happening on the highway as result of the numerous potholes which motorists attempt to dodge . 

 “Besides the potholes, there are obstructions that lead to poor visibility by the motorists because of the overlapping tree branches on the highway, especially in Mabira Forest  that contributes to  some of the crashes,” she said

Mr Allan Ssempebwa, the Unra  media relations manager, said all is set to patch up the potholes .

 “I can assure you that plans underway to fix the numerous potholes along the Lugazi –Mbiko section under our routine maintenance project,” he said by telephone 

 However, Mr Ssempewa did not reveal  when sealing of potholes will start.

He instead appealed to the road users to exercise some patience as repairs on the road are undertaken.

 Kampala –Jinja highway is an essential transportation artery connecting the capital, Kampala to the eastern part of the country including two border points –Busia and Malaba which Uganda relies heavily on for both her imports and exports through Mombasa port in Kenya.


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