Kabale, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Residents of Igabiro cell in Mwanjari ward, Southern division, Kabale municipality are up arms against Uganda National Roads Authority-UNRA and Kabale Municipal Council for constructing a drainage channel that pours water into their premises. The aggrieved residents have petitioned Kabale Resident District Commissioner-RDC, saying that they spend nights emptying rainwater from their houses to avoid being washed away.
Recently, Kabale municipal authorities started constructing a channel to drain water from the former Kabale municipal cemetery, which was leveled to accommodate the Mwanjari business center where the council relocated vendors to paveway for the redevelopment of Kabale Central Market.
The council embarked on the new drainage channel that crosses Kabale Katuna road to Igabiro cell after the traders from Mwanjari business centre stormed Kabale municipality headquarters demanding a solution to water that was flooding their lock-ups.
Since the beginning of the rainy season, locals in Igabiro cell have been crying for help because of the flooding resulting from the rainwater. Both UNRA and municipal authorities reportedly refused to help, arguing that the affected people recieved compensation during the construction of the Kabale-Katuna road.
74-year-old Robina Kakwangire told our reporter that she got married to her husband in Igabiro cell about 50 years ago and they had never experienced any floods until recently when the authorities leveled the cemetery to establish the Mwanjari business center.
Kakwangire revealed that they are always in fear whenever the sky turns dark because they always start preparing for sleepless nights due to rainwater that floods their homes.
Ivan Mwesigwa and Atamba Ebenezer, say that in the last two weeks, they have been using basins and hoes to empty flood water from their houses.
The Igabiro cell LC1 chairperson Mujjasi Asanasias, says that he tried engaging UNRA and Kabale Municipal authorities over the matter in vain. He explains that the last time he talked to the authorities, Kabale Municipal Mayor Sentaro Byamugisha accused him of not supporting him in previous elections.
Mayor Sentaro refused to comment on the matter and directed our reporter to UNRA, saying that the controversial drainage channel belongs to the roads authority.
UNRA Kabale Station Manager Felix Beinamaryo, says that the mayor approached him about the construction of the drainage channel, which he approved because the affected people were compensated to remove their buildings and leave the drainage way.
Kabale RDC Godfrey Nyakahuma told URN that he visited the affected area and personally witnessed the suffering of the people affected by the floods. He revealed that he was planning to hold a meeting between the locals and all concerned authorities to look for a long-lasting solution.