Bushes Take Over Roads As Luweero Grapples With Lack of Funds To Hire Gangs

1322 Views Luweero, Uganda

In short
However, todate Luweero district is yet to set up a single road gang for the maintance works, which has rendered several roads impassable.

Bushes have covered roads in Luweero due to the failure by the district to raise 200 million shillings needed to hire road gangs for routine maintenance. In January, 2013 Ministry of Works and Transport directed districts across the country to revive road gangs to carryout routine maintenance of roads.

The maintenance work includes slashing bushes, installing or replacing broken culverts and filling of potholes among others. The policy is aimed at creating jobs for youths and breaking  bureaucratic tendencies in contracting companies to do routine maintenance.

However,  to date Luweero district is yet to set up a single road gang for the maintenance works, which has rendered several roads impassable. Some of the most affected roads are Bombo-Kalagala, Ddegeya-Vumba, Monde-Nabutaka,Ssekamuli-Bamunanika,Wabitungulu-Bamunanika,Kyegombwa-Kawula and Bunyaka-Bwaziba among others.

Emmy Ssemugabi, the LC 3 chairperson Luweero sub county says the transportation of farm prodice has become almost impossible on some roads because of broken culverts and potholes. According to Ssemugabi in his sub county they can only afford to work on a single road out of the 25 that need urgent repairs.

He says their attempts to mobilize residents for community work locally known as ‘'Bulungibwansi" also hit a snag.

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Imran Mukiibi, the LC V councilor Butuntumula sub county says the district injects huge funds in constructing roads but they become impassable a few months later due to lack of road gangs to fix simple things  like culverts.

Mukiibi  says that in some instances where LC 1's have tried to mobilize communities to fix the roads conflicts have emerged as residents believe the LCs are working illegally since their term of office expired.

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Some of the residents led by Ssonko Kisekwa, the Makulubita Sub county LC 5 council blame the low prices of their produce on the poor road network.  They argue that a kilogram of maize dropped to 300 shillings because farmers are located in inaccessible areas.

They also decry  high costs of using alternative roads and long distances in accessing medical and other services. A top district Official who preferred told URN that some civil Servants and political leaders have blocked the recruitment of the gangs for far of losing money as individuals which they have been getting as kickbacks in hiring ‘friendly' contractors.

But Ivan Serwambala, the Luweero district engineer says they receive 410 million shillings each financial year for road maintenance, which he says it too little. Serwambala says they hope to recruit the gangs if government releases to the district increases.


About the author

Brian Luwaga
Since Brian Luwaga joined Uganda Radio Network in 2011, he is still amazed how, "URN is a place that gives journalists a chance to enhance their skills . It gives a journalist an opportunity to adopt and master various aspects of journalism that include radio broadcast, social media, photography and television production."

A practicing journalist since 2009, first with Star FM, Luwaga has always been keen to write about the concerns of the "common person." Based for much of his career in Luweero, Luwaga takes it as a compliment if politicians complain that his reporting is too harsh.

In his journalism, Luwaga likes to merge the past with the present. He believes you cannot understand what is happening now, if you do not have a grounding in the past. Brian Luwaga is the Luweero URN bureau chief. Nakasongola, Nakaseke, Mityana, Mubende and Wakiso districts fall under his docket.

Luwaga is interested in humanitarian work and is a keen Rotarian.