The Uganda National Roads Authority has diverted traffic along the main Mbale-Tirinyi-Nakalama road to Mbale Tororo road following the heavy flooding at Lupada in Budaka district.
A UNRA notice dated 22 May. advises road users connecting to Mbale to make use of either Nakalama-Tororo-Mbale road.
“UNRA wishes to inform the general public of flooding along Nakalama-Tirinyi-Mbale road which has washed away a section of the road at KM77 at Lupada in Budaka district. As a result, the road is cut off at this point pending restoration works,” reads the notice in part.
“Currently the contractor DOTT services on ground are working around the clock to restore the road to motor-able situation,” adds the notice signed by UNRA public relations department.
This means that travelers will meet an extra pay of between Shs5000 to Shs8000 to enable them go through these alternatives to access Mbale, Kumi and Soroti.
The torrential rains being experienced in several parts of Uganda have caused floods which have damaged bridges, culverts and roads making most areas in the Eastern part of the country impassable to motorists.
Mr Mark Ssali, the manager UNRA Corporate Communications said efforts are underway to make the road secure for all road users but that this is being done by both UNRA and Dott services, a company that won a contract to construct Nakalama-Tirinyi-Mbale road.
“In the meantime we appeal to road users to traveling to Mbale from Kampala are advised to use Nakalama-Tororo-Mbale route while those traveling to Kumi can use Nakalama-Tirinyi-Pallisa to Kumi,” said Mr Ssali.
He explained that UNRA is also working with Uganda police force-traffic and safety directorate to guide traffic and to ensure the safety of road users who may not be aware of the situation.
The LCV chairman Budaka Mr Sam Mulomi said motorists travelling to Kumi and Soroti have been forced to divert to Tirinyi-Pallisa-Kumi marrum road to connect to Soroti and Karamoja sub-region.
“And what this means is that travelers will part with an extra fee on top of what they have been paying for the journeys but besides vehicles carrying agricultural produce like rice and maize will also charge more money for this extra distance,” said Mr Mulomi.
The Nakalama-Tirinyi-Mbale road is a gate way to Teso, Bugisu, Sebei and Karamoja sub-regions in the country but the level of inconvenience this divertion is going to cause is massive.
Concerns over how goods will be moved between from Teso, Karamoja, Sebei and Mbale regions to Kampala along the alternative routes are lingering in people’s minds and it remains to be seen how this will be sorted in both the short term and the long term.
It is not yet clear if the flooding of the road is the one that washed away culverts along this ever busy road or the shoddy work along the road- but what is clear is that this road is a matter of national significance and must be worked on quickly. Ends