Kampala, Uganda | By Michael Wandati | The Construction Regiment of the Special Forces Command (SFC) has embarked on an ambitious project to repair a vast expanse of 19,324 square meters of potholes in the central division of Kampala by mid-December 2023, with an estimated budget of Shs 2 billion.
The comprehensive initiative commenced on Monday 30, October 2023, starting with Kololo, an upscale diplomatic residential area that has long been plagued by the pothole problem. This repair effort encompasses several major roads, including Prince Charles Drive, Elizabeth Avenue, Wampewo, John Babiha, Lower and Upper Kololo, Impala, Nile Avenue, Colville, Kimathi Avenue, and more.
Lieutenant Colonel Robert Chabo of the SFC provided insights into the scope of the project, explaining, “The scope of works entails the total reconstruction of some areas’ sub-base, base, and wearing course (the upper layer in the roadway).”
Following the work in Kololo, the SFC Engineers will move to Kiyembe, downtown Kampala, before proceeding to the city center and Old Kampala. Additionally, the SFC has committed to addressing the deteriorated roads near the Law Development Centre and Makerere University.
Lt. Chabo emphasized that drainage work would follow the completion of the pothole repairs.
This initiative gained momentum after a visit by Gen. Muhoozi Kainerugaba, Senior Presidential Advisor in charge of Special Operations, to the potholed roads earlier this year. In May, Gen. Muhoozi met with the leadership of the Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) at City Hall and conducted a joint inspection of the roads in the Industrial Area.
During the visit, Gen. Muhoozi highlighted the urgency of intervention, acknowledging the deplorable state of the roads. Consequently, President Museveni directed Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja to facilitate collaboration between KCCA and the SFC Construction Regiment to address the notorious potholes in Kampala City.
In his directive, President Museveni emphasized, “This is to direct you to cause the relevant agencies of government to allow KCCA to directly work with the SFC Construction Regiment to repair the famous potholes in Kampala City,” in a letter dated May 22.
Traditionally, KCCA has resorted to using murram to temporarily fill Kampala’s potholes, which often gets washed away during the rainy season, leaving the roads in a dire state.
The public’s outcry regarding the prevalence of potholes in Kampala has been gaining momentum, with Ugandans expressing their frustration on social media. Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Thomas Tayebwa, highlighted the issue during a parliamentary session, stating, “We have potholes of every design and size, deep, shallow, wide, narrow, filled with water and dry ones; they are all in Kampala.”
In response to the mounting pressure, the SFC construction regiment, in collaboration with KCCA, has taken on the task of addressing this long-standing problem and working towards restoring the city’s roads to a more accessible and safer condition.