Traffic paralyzed on Kampala-Masaka highway as floods cut off Katonga Bridge

The flooded section of Kampala-Masaka highway at Katonga. PHOTOS/ UNRA

What you need to know:

  • Unra has also issued a flood alert to all motorists using the highway.

Flash floods resulting from ongoing torrential rains pounding various parts of Uganda have submerged the River Katonga Bridge, paralyzing traffic on the usually busy Kampala –Masaka highway.
The water which started rising at around 6am, according to motorists, has made it difficult to cross the bridge. 
Currently, there’s traffic gridlock stretching over 20 kilometers between Lukaya Town in Kalungu District and Kayabwe Town in Mpigi District.

“Traffic officers and UPDF soldiers have been deployed at the scene to control traffic and motorists with small vehicles are advised to wait until the water subsides. Those who are  rushing  are using the  Mpigi-Kanoni- Sembabule –Villa Maria-Masaka road as alternative route to avoid the delays,” Sula Kizito, a commuter Taxi operator on Kampala-Masaka route said.
According to Mr Juma Maggwa, the traffic officer at Buwama Police Station, it is currently safer for all motorists to use the Mpigi-Kanoni- Sembabule –Villa Maria-Masaka Road.

“The water is too much and it is risky to allow motorists to use this bridge until engineers from Uganda National Roads Authority make assessment,” he said
However, taking this route (Mpigi-Kanoni- Sembabule –Villa Maria-Masaka road) makes the journey longer by 120km and costs more fuel.
Unra has also issued a flood alert to all motorists using the highway.
“We have reports of flooding at Katonga section on Masaka road. Our teams are assessing the situation and exploring possible interventions and diversion routes .For now, we strongly advise road users to exercise extreme caution when approaching this section,” a tweet on Unra twitter handle reads in part.

Motorists stranded as floods cut off Kampala-Masaka highway after Katonga bridge got submerged