Kasese, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The poor road network in Kithoulu Sub County, Kasese District has raised concern among farmers and local leaders. The mountainous area is largely known for producing coffee, passion fruits and timber.
The most affected route connects Kitholu to Kiraro parish with the latter hosting a health center III. The other bad roads are Kyabikhere- Kitholu and Isango-Bulhemera roads, which have spent more than 5 years without any rehabilitation. Farmers say the poor state of the road network has affected the price of their farm produce because only a handful of buyers make it to the area. Yonasi Kithola, the Kithoulu Sub County LC V Councilor, says the district has severally spoken about the economic impact of the poor road network on the area.
He says today only a few farmers can afford the high transport costs to deliver their produce to markets in Bwera and Kasese town. According to Kithola, buyers now dictate the cost of their produce since they know that farmers cannot reach markets directly.
Jonathan Ndime, a resident of Kisebere village, says that most of the community roads are in appalling condition, which has affected transport fares for both human and agricultural produce. He says that the situation has worsened since the rain season started.
Alfred Kule, a casual labourer in Kitholu says that he spends between Shillings 18,000 and 20,000 on transport to and from Bwera to his workstation. Kule earns Shillings 25,000 daily. He says Boda boda riders have taken advantage of the bad roads to increase the transport charges since they are the only ones who can try to wade through.
Fred Bwambala, another resident says Kithoma-Kisebere road is the major route that links traders to buyers. He says that buyers are now asking between 10 to 15 passion fruits for Shillings 1000 when they reach the garden yet he would be selling seven for the same money when he accesses the market directly.
Bwambale says that pupils of Kisanga primary are usually stuck because the route connecting to the school becomes troublesome whenever it rains.
Medress Kabugho calls on the government to consider their roads as a priority because they contribute greatly to the local revenue basket. The out-going Kasese LC V Chairperson Ssebendire Bigogo Thembo says that the main road is under UNRA and the district leadership has been reminding the government of the plight of the community in vain.
He says that slow response to community concerns is one of the reasons why people like him lost in the last elections.