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Farmers count losses as water submerges roads in Serere

A boat carrying travellers to cross flooded road in Bugondo. Courtesy photo

Serere, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Farmers in Bugondo sub county, Serere district are counting losses as the condition of roads worsens due to the rising water levels from Lake Kyoga. For more than two months now, parts of major roads in Bugondo, Kadungulu, Labor and Pingire sub counties have been submerged affecting transport to various trading centers where vehicles access produce.

In Bugondo, a boat has been improvised by the local community in the area to help travelers cross from either side. This has affected farmers who harvested maize, sorghum, simsim and other crops for sale since no vehicle can cross the submerged areas.

Paul Opio, a 63-year-old man practicing modern farming in Opucet Bugondo says the poor state of roads in the area has worsened the poverty levels among the communities. He explains that much as the rising water levels affected yields this season, the little harvest from some of the communities is rotting because vehicles are not able to access farmers.

Penninah Atweo, a resident of Agologolo village in Bugondo sub county says the condition of the road has affected their livelihoods as costs of transport have more than doubled. Atweo who sells vegetables says that she spends 16,000 shillings on the transport alone instead of 4,000 she used to pay before the roads were submerged.

Joseph Erienyu, a hawker in Kasilo- Bugondo says he has survived death from the submerged roads twice and appeals to government to intervene in the matter. Erienyu says that the rising water levels have affected his daily earnings since he has to meet costs of transport with the boat.

Last month, leaders from Serere district including Members of Parliament threatened to demonstrate over the poor state of roads in the district. They accused officials from Uganda National Roads Authority in Soroti for ignoring earlier warnings and pleas to improve on the roads before Lake Kyoga burst its banks.

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