By Andrew Masinde
Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) is set to reconstruct the Kanungu-Rukungiri highway in the coming financial year, says its spokesperson Dan Alinange.
The road is currently in a bad state and the intervention will come in quite handy.
Speaking to New Vision recently, Alinange said UNRA hopes to get a grant from African Development Bank – the plan is to have the entire stretch tarmacked.
“We are still procuring the contractors who will tarmac the road but as per now UNRA is to get contractors to maintain the road for at least two years before the tarmacking officially starts,” he revealed.
The roads body is also securing contractors for the reconstruction of the collapsed Kanungu bridge, a cost estimated at sh10bn.
The plan for the bridge is widen it enough to have two trucks fit side-by-side. Before its collapse, the bridge was a passage for mostly heavy vehicles so any upgrade to it must ensure it is much stronger than ever before.
Alinange explained that the transport ministry plans to reconstruct another 17 bridges across the country, mostly in the northern and southwestern parts.
Shaky bridge. PHOTO/Andrew Masinde
The Kanungu-Rukungiri highway is one of the worst in Uganda with many collapsed bridges in its path.
The Kanungu bridge has been an easier connection from Rukungiri and Kanungu, but following its collapse, vehicles now have to go a longer way.
“They have to go round to Kihihi, and for those taking the risk to use the broken bridge, the drivers have to make their way over very cautiously, making the journey too long and difficult,” said the UNRA official.
One user of the road expressed his disappointment over what he calls laxity for top area leaders responsible for service delivery.
“It was used by heavy traffic heading to DR Congo. We are disappointed in our MP Hon Amama Mbabazi who has not helped us as voters,” he said.
“He comes in a plane and after he passes with his windscreens raised [sic] and never even stops to say “hallo” to us, giving us no chance to express our problems to him,” the motorcyclist complained.
He goes on to reason that with many tourist attraction centres like Bwindi Impenetrable national park and water sources in place, the area would have long developed. But, he says, the poor road has become an obstacle to that potential.