Kasese, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Residents of Nyamirami, Muhokya sub-county in Kasese district are demanding compensation for properties that were destroyed during the construction of Nyamirami-Busara road.
The 14.7-kilometre road on the mountainous area is constructed under the low-cost seal program, an innovative technology aimed at improving all-weather rural roads and reducing gravel loss through utilizing locally available resources.
The construction is part of a 15 billion Shillings project launched in the four districts of K asese, Mayuge, Kamuli and Kayunga in the financial year 2018/2019. However in Kasese, over 20 households have had their land covered with boulders that are being carried down by the heavy machinery. Gardens have also been covered with chunks of soils during the leveling process.
Mumbere Baluku, one of the affected residents says that his house was demolished after heavy boulders cut through the roof. Baluku, who is currently housed at a relative’s home also lost his 5 acres’ vanilla gardens and coffee that was almost due for harvest.
Godwin Bwambale, a resident of Nyamirami village says that he lost his cassava garden to the heavy boulders and soil during the construction work. Bwambale says his family is likely to be hit by famine unless the government extends food relief to him.
Alice Kabugho, a mother of four is now housed in a neighbours kitchen store after her family house was damaged by heavy stones. She says that the house has already developed cracks and her family is hesitant to get back.
Kabugho, whose husband is healing from accident injuries told URN that besides the lack of shelter, she cannot also access food after her garden of sweet potatoes was covered by the soil.
John Thungu, another resident lost a shop and seven acres of his vanilla plantation for which he is also seeking compensation. He says he expected to earn not less than three million Shillings from the vanilla harvest.
Vanensio Mumbahya, the area LCI chairman told URN that most of the houses around the village developed cracks and became uninhabitable forcing people to abandon them. He asks the government to help the victims to restore their demolished property.
However, Busongora South MP Jackson Mbaju Kathika noted that the project doesn’t have a component of compensation to the affected persons. But he hastens to add that the government could make a special arrangement to help the affected persons re-establish their homes.
Kasese is the first district to benefit from the low-cost seal program in western Uganda.