COMMENT | Samson Tinka | In the last twelve months or so, Kampala roads have continuously become impassible. The Namauwongo road via The Monitor, Salama road, Ring road, Nagera road, Kitezi road etc have ceased to be roads and become trenches.
Motorcyclists and cyclists are reporting nearly daily to various garages for different reasons. Cars owned by people using these roads must be fixed or repaired or replaced with new sets of shock absorbers, springs, rubber bushes, wheel alignment, burst tires regularly.
I have not been spared either. I have in the past few months lost two tires, one being cut by a newly dug pot hole and the other cut by sharp pothole. Certainly, there other victims who have suffered same loses.
Pot-holed roads have made Kampala city look ugly, disorganized, dirty, shabby and name it. Other effects of these potholed roads including un necessary traffic jams, loss of time which literally means loss of money, failure to make it to work on time, school going children especially candidates spend hours and hours in traffic jam. Honestly bad roads are making the current fogy economy to look worse.
Heavy trucks also hit
Heavy trucks and lorries as well as buses are not spared either. They spend more time than anticipated. There is a huge pothole between Kireka bridge and Bweyogerere trading Centre. Often trucks to Nairobi slow down around this area causing the usual bad mukono jam to become hell of sorts.
The Kubiri and Mulago junction have been in a sorry state for months. KCCA may have a million reasons why these particular places have been like so for months, but for whatever reasons put forward, some of us will not be convinced.
Why open up such roundabouts when you know it will take you ages to fix? Its high time, us road users starting taking KCCA in courts of law for either being negligent or shaming to the nation.
Why build new roads in the outskirts when the CDB is a mess? Imagine a Mulago or Kubiri pot hole, while just outside the centre, you have the new Bunamwaya road.
What motivates KCCA administration to take such decision? Industrial area roads are all limping, so to say.
Roads that facilitate trade should be considered first, then community roads later. Look at Ntinda, most roads are fixed but what kind of contributions do these roads bring to the government coffers? Certainly zero?
But the stretch, Kireka, Bweyogerere, Kinawataka facilitates inter state transport, but continue to be patched. Strangely, these roads by design are very small, now full of potholes with heavy trucks on them. Its honestly a complex puzzle. KCCA planning dept. where are you?
Is it Musisi syndrome?
Why make us regret why Jenifer Musisi left? With due respect to the current ED and her team, Jennifer had improved the city on road repairs and road works. Don’t push us to pray to bring Jenny to fix Kampala again. Is it because Former Physical planning Director-Twine left?
In the last 30 days there has been some cutting and fixing of some roads though the works already done are less desired. For example, there is a tendency of leaving behind what has been cut either near the road side and when it rains, the soils are washed down to trenches hence silting the water trenches. Basically, workmanship is not only bad but below par.
KCCA budget scapegoat
Fingers are always pointed towards the budget. This limited budget is a fact, but it doesn’t justify the poor workmanship or failure by contractors to complete road works on time. Outside the insufficient budget, KCCA can do much. The finances song has no rhythm any longer.
Its also common to find KCCA workers or contractors digging up roads on a Monday morning. This is crazy way of doing things. Road works on high traffic roads should be done at off peak hours or days between 10pm-6am or Saturdays or Sundays or public holidays.
The business fraternity are inconvenienced and they shouldn’t anyway. They feed this country through paying taxes. KCCA should be aiding their movements form point A To point B, not the reverse.
Utility companies and telecoms digging up roads
Utility companies and telecoms laying cables need to be regulated. Digging up roads to pass their cables wouldn’t be a problem but failure to repair what they dug up is an issue. They dig up section of roads and either delay to resurface the affected area or do a poor job repairing.
The so-called new roads seem to be well done but are narrow and lack adequate parking slots for taxis. For example, Makindye Buziga road, looks to be smaller for some vehicles like trucks and also has very few gazetted stages, passengers drop/pick points. Kamapala taxis just stop wherever they want and wish, since roads are narrow, this sudden stopping creates traffic jam. With these narrow roads, such disturbances increase. On Buziga Makindye road, though still undergoing construction, the narrowness of the road is very visible.
Its common to see road construction workers whether of a contractor or KCCA to work minus safety PPEs and needed signages. As KCCA, it’s expected to demonstrate high standards of everything. Safety standards should not be compromised. Quite often, health inspectors from KCCA move around businesses to make sure health standards are not compromised but the visibility of KCCA workers or contractors abusing safety best practices is a dent to KCCA family.
As it is now, KCCA roads are so bad across all the divisions. Those under construction are either small compared to the traffic they host, while contractors continue to disrespect safety procedures, and fail to meet deadlines
The sttae of Kampala City road transport is looking horrible. KCCA, where are you?
Should we ask Musisi to come back and fix these bad looking roads. Some road accidents can be attributed directly to bad roads. Irrespective of lack of money for roads, other things can be done better, like workmanship, timely completion of roads, repairing roads on less peak times etc.
As kamapala dwellers, the current status of roads don’t support our individual road desires. neither does it supports movement of goods from point A to point B.
KCCA, you can do better.
Samson Tinka is a safety and security expert | email@example.com