Road users in Kampala raise red flag over recurring potholes in the city

Potholes in Kampala Roads

Kampala, Uganda | URN | Motorists in Kampala are concerned about the appalling conditions of roads in different parts of the city. The roads are characterized by wide and deep potholes that worsen transport especially during rainy days.

While pedestrians have labelled them dangerous, motorists are on the other hand decrying the damage they pose on their vehicles. Some of the roads have not been maintained while others have had the potholes patched but they quickly resurface.

Roads where the potholes are common include, Rashid Khamisi road which hundreds of taxis from the new taxi park use to exit the city through Old Kampala to Sir Apollo Kaggwa road.

Similarly, Sir Apollo Kaggwa which also takes traffic from Namayiba Bus Terminal and Namayiba Taxi Park is in bad shape having redeveloped potholes a few months after it was renovated during the COVID-19 lockdown.

Another road is Bombo Road at Kubbiri roundabout to Makerere Yellow Primary School.

This one also accommodates hundreds of taxis from the New Taxi Park and Namayiba Taxi and Bus Park. This is on top of personal vehicles, boda bodas and pedestrians all of whom compete for space on the same road.

In Makindye division, Calendar road, Salaama road and Luwafu road are equally in bad shape. Salaama road which is a branch off from Entebbe road is used by vehicles especially those from Usafi Park and are destined for Kiruddu National Referral Hospital and areas of Masajja and Salaama Kulekana among others.

Busaabala Road too is a branch off from Entebbe road and leads taxis from Kisenyi taxi park to areas of Masajja, Kibiri, Ggangu and Busaabala. The road is supposed to be reconstructed by the China State Construction Engineering Company limited contracted by KCCA.

The other roads are; part of Buganda Road, Ben Kiwanuka street which leads vehicles from Mini Price to Bombo Road, Jinja Road, Sentema Road and Mengo Ring Road.

Julius Katumba, a taxi driver plying Jinja Road says that the road is in a bad shape which exposes him and the passengers to accidents.

Musa, also a driver in Kampala blames the Ministry of Works and Transport and KCCA of being incompetent. He says that they should be held responsible for keeping the roads in a bad shape.

Mzee Haruna Musaazi, a boda boda cyclist at Ham Shopping grounds says that the roads are filled with potholes and are narrow. He adds that due to the bad roads, he has been forced to repair his motorcycle several times.

Musaazi is also concerned about the potholes that KCCA scales and leaves for days without filling.

KCCA’s roads supervisor in Central division, Engineer Andrew Sserunjoji in a previous interview said that some potholes are not filled due to the shortage of equipment.

A Kampala dweller who identified himself as Joshua Mukiibi says the government needs to improve its routine maintenance to cover roads whenever the need arises, but also seek to offer a longer-lasting solution of reconstructing the roads.

Mukiibi says the government should expand city roads and where expansion is impossible to establish flyover projects.

KCCA receives around 160 Billion and 30 Billion Shillings from the Central government and the Uganda Road Fund respectively for road works in the city. Kampala has a total of 1200km of roads but only 30 percent making 630 km is paved.

According to KCCA, they need at least 3 Billion Shillings to construct a kilometre of road in Kampala with proper drainage, walkways and street lights.

KCCA plans to reconstruct more roads with funding from the African Development Bank. The roads include Busaabala road, Salaama road, Ssuna two road, Port Bell road, Eighth Street Namuwongo, Sir Apollo Kaggwa road, Kabalagala- Ggaba road among others.

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In 2019, the former acting KCCA Executive Director, Andrew Kitaka said that there is no way the roads in Kampala can be pothole-free because of their age. He says that the long-lasting solution would be reconstructing the old city roads.

Several roads in Kampala Central Business District [CBD] and beyond have outlived their importance and are overloaded. Many were designed during colonial times for 100,000 vehicles but now accommodate more than 400,000 vehicles a day.