PARLIAMENT: The Speaker of Parliament Rt. Hon. Anita Among has tasked the Minister of works and transport to present a report on Wednesday, on the state of roads in the country some of which have been cut off by heavy rains.
Speaker Among was on Tuesday morning, 16th May 2023, chairing the plenary session and asked government on its way forward on the worrying state of roads after the heavy down pour in various parts of the country.
Among said most of the roads in many parts of the country are cut off including the Kampala- Masaka highway along River Katonga Section which caved in last week and affected the connection to the western parts of the country and the 5 neighbouring countries.
“It’s not only Masaka road, it’s a country wide problem. One of my personal assistants traveled over 100Km on an alternative route in the Eastern region. The Minister should come up with a statement tomorrow.” The Speaker Said.
The speaker also asked local governments to give attention to the construction of feeder roads which help as alternative routes in such circumstances of emergency
“As we do the budgeting, we must consider the roads; they must be worked on.” Among added
Hon. Fred Kayondo (DP Mukono South) said what is happening at Katonga Bridge along Kampala-Masaka Highway which has been washed away is a result of encroachment on nature yet government put the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) to take care of any kind of encroachment
Hon. Abed Bwanika (Kimaanya-Kabonera), Hon. Joseph Ssewungu (Kalungu West) and Hon. Francis Katabaazi (Kalungu East) said government should choose to rehabilitate the Kabulasoke- Masaka road which is only 48km to Masaka as an alternative route
“The Kampala-Masaka road connects the country to other 5 countries like DRCongo, Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania and Central African Republic. The collapse of River Katonga has generally affected trade between Uganda and the neighborhood since also Lwera Wetland also caved in. This is a Matter of National Urgency since the section connecting Kalungu to Gomba was also washed away.” Hon. Abed Bwanika said
Hon. Gorreth Namugga (Mawogola South) said government should also consider rehabilitating Mbiriizi-Ssembabule road which is 37Km to reduce a distance for travelers to and from Mbarara who now travel additional 80km from Mbiriri to Masaka then Ssembabule and then cross over to Mpigi (137km).
The Minister of State for Industry, Hon. David Bahati said Government is on the ground to address the washed-away bridge on Masaka Road.
“The Prime Minister convened an urgent meeting, We have raised some resources to look at the best possible way to make sure people access that road in the shortest time possible.” He said
Leader of Opposition Mathias Mpuuga said, having made a field visit to the affected roads in Masaka, he observed that there are emergencies [in Masaka] but he will wait for the government statement for him to present his report.
“There are emergencies; if schools are beginning in two weeks’ time then the children will not go to school. For people going to the hospital, instead of going for 5kms, they will have to go for 40kms to Masaka”