KCCA told to extend the lifespan of roads in Kampala

Kampala, April 26, 2023: Kampala City Roads Rehabilitation Project (KCRRP), according to the Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) is aimed at increasing the stock and quality of strategic infrastructure to accelerate Uganda’s competitiveness.

As per the available public information, KCCA secured a loan worth US$288m (over 1 trillion) from Africa Development Bank (ADB) and Africa Development Fund (ADF to implement KCRRP and the loan was effective July 2021. It’s a four-year project.

One of the strategic objectives of the project, according to the Authority is to enhance transport efficiency to enable Kampala City to maximize agglomerative benefits of access and improved attractiveness resulting from reduced traffic congestion through upgrade and expansion of road network.

KCRRP has six components. Under component one (1) – Civil works, US$ 246.20m was earmarked for spending on the complete construction of 69.70km of roads with drainage works, and the improvement of 22 traffic junctions.

Other areas include the construction of 123km of non-motorized transport (NMT) facilities, commercial vehicles parking places, bus depots; 30 public toilets, and six markets along project roads, among others.

However, with the above huge project focusing on road infrastructure in the Capital City, dozens of potholes have taken up most of the City roads. Alongside it, when it rains, sewerage (drainage) bursts and floods roads leading to anxiety.

Those with automobiles, private (passenger) cars; motorcycles and tuk-tuks are angered most by this dire situation. Potholes have caused them more damage.

Speaking on Wednesday, the UPC party spokesperson Arach Oyat Sharon said the recent heavy downpour of rains coupled with potholes is making our city roads a source of danger.

“Of late, there is a huge public outcry regarding the state of our roads especially in the Capital City that has led our National Assembly to task Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) to offer an explanation as well as an immediate intervention,” Oyat said.

“Similarly, social media users have had a special session of pictures depicting the sorry state of our roads. These actions are raising public awareness and should be encouraged. To reverse this trend, the government should mobilize resources in time and implement the master plan for road maintenance and development of Kampala,” she added.

“KCCA is claiming that the life span of a tarmac road in the city is 15 years. This needs to be extended further by seeking better science and technology.”

For most of the loans we secure, UPC says their repayment plan is at least after 15-20 years hence a heavy burden to both the taxpayer and the government. “It does not portray a good image at all, to be repaying a loan for a road constructed 15 years ago and at the same time securing a fresh loan or grant for its repairs.”

UPC calls this “highly very costly and bound to raise a lot of suspicion of poor workmanship.”

Much of the focus is on Kampala City, Ayat noted, continuing that “… other cities too are in bad shape!” “We need to have a national outlook of our entire road network. The highways are not in good shape, and the feeder roads in rural areas are not fully passable.”

“Any road that is in bad shape with potholes or eroded tarmac is a recipe for accidents with loss of lives, permanent scar to people and damage cars, which in turn is also a death trap! Above all, the cost of motor spare -parts is quite expensive.”

UPC reiterates its call on this issue that roads of Kampala City are not only in bad shape, but as well congested with heavy traffic and traffic jam which stretches several kilometres to all roads that lead out of Kampala especially Kampala – Jinja road, Kampala – Masaka road, and Kampala – Gulu road.

“If the congestion and traffic jam issue is to be addressed, there is a need for speedy completion of the flyover project and quick re-introduction of a commuter train with improved services.”

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