WAKISO/TIRINYI/KYONYO: The Police and other security agencies have been deployed to man Entebbe Express Way, Works minister Monica Azuba Ntege has said.
This followed reports that some unknown citizens are stealing road assets and others are vandalizing them. Some unknown people have been illegally charging motorists, to allow them to access the road.
But Azuba revealed in an exclusive interview with PML Daily that the Internal Affairs ministry has put measures to protect the road, blocking motorists from accessing it.
“Those found vandalizing or stealing the assets will be dealt with according to the law. Internal Affairs Ministry deployed Police and other security to man the road. I can’t reveal much but we are serious on this,” Azuba warned.
Azuba also revealed that her ministry has embarked on investigating the circumstances leading to the collapse of roads in different parts of the country.
In less than a week two major roads, Kabale-Katuna road collapsed while floods cut off a section of Nakalama-Tirinyi-Mbale highway, causing heavy traffic jam. Also, Kabale-Kisoro road collapsed due to floods.
Azuba said the team set up to probe among other things whether the roads are damaged due to earth movements or poor design.
“Some roads like Kabale-Katuna road are situated in hilly areas. We want to find out whether earth movements affect them. The floods hit mostly eastern Uganda, damaging the roads and bridges. Tirinyi- Mbale High way and Butaleja road are in dilapidated state because of floods. We want the team to probe all these,” Azuba explained.
Kabale-Katuna road was temporarily closed for two days to allow UNRA fix the section that collapsed at Kanyanjoka village in Katuna Town Council.
There are reports that other sections of the road around Kyonyo Trading Centre, Hamurwa along the Kabale-Kisoro road and Kabaraga along the Kabale-Mbarara road may collapse soon.
The findings, Azuba said will help Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) in future to know the kind of design for Ugandan roads.
On Sunday when Kabale-Katuna road was closed, over 200 trucks on both sides of the border were on stranded as they waited for the road works to be completed.
For Mbale-Tirinyi-Nakalama road, UNRA diverted the traffic. UNRA notice dated 22 May, it’s advising the road users connecting to Mbale to make use of either Nakalama-Tororo-Mbale road.
UNRA said the contractor DOTT services are working around the clock to restore the road to motor-able situation.
The travelers have to meet an extra pay of between Shs5000 to Shs8000 to enable them go through these alternatives to access Mbale, Kumi and Soroti.
Ugandan roads last for 20 years
Azuba also revealed that due to cheap road design, all the major roads constructed have maximum durability of 20 years.
“Due to limited funds available, Government can’t afford to give us the money we need to construct roads lasting for 100 years. Government has other critical areas which also need funds like health and education,” he noted.
Allen Kagina, UNRA’S executive director recently while reviewing the achievements of Ministry of works with in the last two years of NRM government since it was elected in power, she said pricing of roads depend many things which include its design.
“The cheaper the design, it means the road will be cheap. And it can’t be used for 100 years,” she explained.
Kagina also explained that some road projects delay to kick off because of the country’s tenure land system.
The minister however explained that Government took position to improve on the national road network because its backbone of the country’s economy.
“Emphasis is put on major roads to connect the country with other regional states, to boost trade. And also, the national roads are constructed in some areas to boost tourism,” she explained.