Travellers recount nightmare as Masaka  Road caves in again

Works at the section of Kyengera-Buddo on Masaka Road that caved in following a downpour on Sunday night.  PHOTO/JOSEPH KIGGUNDU

What you need to know:

  • Kampala-Masaka highway is one of the busiest in the country with an average daily traffic count of about 30,000 vehicles. 
  • It is the main gateway to the Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania, Rwanda, and Burundi.

Several motorists and travellers yesterday suffered a traffic gridlock that rocked the Kampala –Masaka highway after a section of the road caved in the previous night.
The affected section of the busy highway is between Hass fuel depot in Kyengera and Buddo junction. 
The traffic gridlock stretched more than 10 kilometres between Buddo junction and Katende in Mpigi District.

This prompted some of the travellers to disembark commuter taxis and buses and trekked while those with heavy luggage hired boda bodas and used alternative routes to access the city centre.
Several travellers said boda boda riders took advantage of the situation and increased the fares by 100 percent.
One traveller said she almost failed to go for work in the city centre when the boda boda rider asked for Shs15,000, yet they usually charge Shs5,000 and taxis charge Shs3,000.

Ms Moreen Namakula trekked from her residence in Kitemu Trading Centre on Masaka Road to Kyengera Market where she works.
“I left home by 5:30am and when I got to the road, there was heavy traffic jam. So I decided to walk but I used only 20 minutes,” she said.
 Ms Madinah Muhammed, one of the parents, said: “The issue has come at a time when many schools are doing their end-of-term exams.”

Alternative routes
Some motorists resorted to some of the alternative routes, including Buddo-Nakawuka, Nabbingo-Kyengera Summit View to Kyengera Market,  and Katende-Bujjuko to Mityana Road.
But the Nabbingo-Kyengera route, due to heavy trucks that broke the culverts, also caved in, making it impassable for vehicles.

A section of the same road caved in last December. Uganda National Roads Authority (Unra)  blamed erosion, which led to significant damage of approximately 1.5 meters of the road pavement near the embankment.
The Unra spokesperson, Mr Allan Ssempebwa, told this publication that their teams are already on the ground to do emergency restoration works expected to be completed by tomorrow.

He also urged the public to remain calm. 
The Wakiso District chairperson, Mr Matia Lwanga Bwanika, yesterday said attention needs to be given to the drainage system because it is the second time the road has caved in.
Mr Alfred Kabogoza, a resident of Buddo, said locals informed authorities about the affected area recently but nothing was done.