Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The expansion of Nakawa-Ntinda Road that has seen several huge trees cut down sparking mixed reactions from residents and people operating around the road.
The 2.82 km Nakawa-Ntinda Road will be expanded to a dual carriage way with two lanes on each side, walkways on both sides, solar Street Lighting, covered drains and signalization of Junction. Kampala Capital City Authority-KCCA is implementing the project under the World Bank funded Kampala Infrastructure Institution Development Project- KIIDP 2.
China State Construction Engineering Corporation Ltd is undertaking the project work. Paulo Mutema, a Boda boda rider has welcomed the road expansion, saying the road has been narrow and risky considering the many cars and Boda Bodas that uses it.
He says although the construction has brought inconvenience to the traffic flow and the environment, it is bearable since it is for the better.
Shafik Kisaka, the Chairman Kiyembe Stage on Nakawa-Ntinda Road is concerned about the trees that have been cut down. Estimated at 70 years and above, over 30 huge trees have been cut down and more earmarked for cutting to permit for the expansion.
The trees are cut into logs and taken to Naguru- Nakawa barracks just off the main road. Kisaka says KCCA should have replaced the trees before cutting them down for the sake of the environment.
A resident who only identified himself as George is furious about the cutting down of trees. He says KCCA has not told them of any plans to replace the trees yet it is crucial.
George says that rather than expand roads, Uganda needs a proper decongestion plan for Kampala. He argues that the roads are overwhelmed by the number of motor vehicles that use them and emphasis should be put on reducing the numbers. George says government needs to develop other areas, provide quality services and create jobs in those areas such that people find no need to come to Kampala.
Another resident also complains about tree cuts adding that they should have planted more before cutting down the trees.
Another Boda Boda rider says that while the development is good, he is worried they might lose their stage that is currently house under three earmarked for cutting. They have not been asked to leave but their stage is in the space already leveled for expansion.
He says they might have to relocate briefly as they seek means to resume operating in the road reserve that could be cleared during construction.
The construction of the road is expected to last 18 months. KCCA listed 32 roads for construction at the start of 2018 that had been earmarked including John Babiiha Avenue, Port Bell Rd Nakawa Junction PortBell Pier Nakawa, Old Port Bell / Spring Rd Wampewo Roundabout, New Port Bell Road Nakawa, Kulambiro Ring road, Lukuli-Nanganda among others.
According to KCCA, for every tree they have cut down during the construction, more three shall be planted.