UNRA patches potholes on major road

MASAKA-The Uganda National Roads Authority [ UNRA ] has started patching potholes on Mutukula-Kyotera-Masaka road following complaints from motorists and other road users.

The multiple potholes on the 89.5-kilometre road were hindering the smooth movement of commercial trucks and other vehicles.

District leaders and others in Kyotera district have always complained of frequent accidents that have claimed people’s lives on the busy road that connects Uganda to Tanzania.

A section of the road between Kyotera town and Mutukula was upgraded to class-two bitumen standard in 2003 but it was again spoilt by the many transit trucks delivering goods between Uganda and Tanzania.

UNRA Spokesman, Allan Ssempebwa says sealing the road began from the trading centres of Bukunda, Kyotera town, and Kabonera to ease easy traffic flow between Mutukula and Masaka town.

He said UNRA would soon receive funds from the African Development Bank under the NEPAD Infrastructure Project Preparation Facility to upgrade the road.

Sempebwa said since Mutukula was commissioned as a one-stop customs centre in 2016 the number of vehicles using the road has increased.

This road was built in the 1960s to support trade ties between Uganda, Tanzania, and other East African partners, is a reliable route for the movement of goods from Tanzania into Uganda and vice versa.

In December last year, area members of parliament together with motorists demonstrated against the poor state of the road but nothing much was done as the funds were not available.

Kyotera Woman MP, Fortunate Nantongo said the bad road has caused deaths and other losses in terms of fuel and damages to vehicles.

Yusuf Kakembo, one of the truck drivers said drivers face inconveniences while driving on the road, including having to buy extra fuel to be able to reach their destinations.

Rashid Ddamba, also a truck driver plying Mutukula-Kyotera-Masaka-Kampala route said on several occasions, he would swerve the vehicle off the road to avoid colliding with other vehicles coming from the opposite direction.

However, Ddamba said before the road repairs began, he would drive for four hours from Mutukula border post to Masaka town. Now he says it takes him two hours.

URA southwestern regional manager, Peter Gikwiyakare says since the patching of the potholes on this road started this month, the number of trucks cleared from Mutukula border on a daily basis has increased from an average of 120 -130 trucks.

“The truck drivers are having a better turn-around time and it is easier for them to move to Masaka and Kampala to offload and get back to Mutukula border post,” he said.

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