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Potholes eat up Kampala streets

By Timothy Murungi

Added 29th October 2019 02:24 PM

In 2010, Kampala city centre had 2,489 potholes. The number of potholes has since increased and the same roads that had potholes than still have them.

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In 2010, Kampala city centre had 2,489 potholes. The number of potholes has since increased and the same roads that had potholes than still have them.

In 2010, New Vision took a survey on the potholes in Kampala. There were 89 roads in Kampala out of which 73 had potholes.

The roads surveyed were main routes linking various suburbs to the city centre, as well as those connecting the central business district.

Lumumba Avenue had the highest number of potholes, 249 in total. It was followed by Buganda Road with 245 potholes. Buganda Road and Lumumba Avenue run parallel to each other and they both pass through the upmarket Nakasero parish.

The worst part of this road is near Mukwasi House, where the potholes had virtually eaten up the whole road.

Old Portbell Road from the MTN switch in Bugolobi to Jinja Road roundabout near Celtel House had 166 potholes. The worst stretch was near Jazz Supermarket and Shell Bugolobi, where potholes were progressively growing bigger and merging to form ditches and furrows.

The area had permanent traffic jams as vehicles would slow down to snail speed to navigate through the mess.

Ben Kiwanuka Street, from Hotel Equatoria to the Entebbe Road traffic lights had 157 potholes.

 Potholes on Ben Kiwanuka Street still exist nine years later. Photos by Timothy Murungi


Some roads such as Mawanda, Ben Kiwanuka, Ntinda-Spear Motors, Bukoto Street and Katwe had monstrous potholes that had become mini-ponds whenever it rained.

The biggest pothole was on Mawanda Road, followed by the one on Bukoto Street in Kamwokya.

The one on Bukoto Street looked like a small lake after it rained, and most motorists had abandoned the road.

The roads in the Industrial Area had few potholes, while the access road between Seventh Street and Namuwongo stage had a total of 62 potholes.

Katwe Road was smooth all the way to the junction with Mengo Hill Road, where there were 18 potholes. Roads like Makerere Hill Road and Upper Kololo terrace were undergoing repairs at the time of the survey.

The closest to the end of city potholes was in 2007, during the preparations for the Commonwealth Heads of Government (CHOGM) summit. During this period, massive repairs were done. But as soon as the foreign heads of state left, the potholes started reclaiming there places.

City officials said the rate of repairs could match the rate at which new potholes develop because the roads are too old. Some of the roads have been around for over 50 years, yet they were designed to last 15 years.

They reasoned that mere repairing of roads was like giving aspirin to someone suffering from malaria.

Age of the roads aside, poor maintenance is the leading cause of potholes. Most roads have no drainage channels.

Stormwater runs on the road surface and deposit soil and rubbish. Cracks than develop on the roads as vehicles bump on the scattered soil and rubbish humps.

Soon the potholes develop and grow due to the combined force of surface runoff and tyres.

Last week, nine years later, New Vision team went back to the Kampala streets and the potholes have again eaten up most of the roads. Most of the roads such as Ben Kiwanuka Streets, Bukoto and Old Port bell Road have again become the worst affected roads.

Surprisingly the potholes have developed at almost the same area where they were nine years ago.



The potholes have eaten up Ben Kiwanuka Street in Kampala Central.



 



 



 



 



 



 



 



 



 



 



 



 



 



 



 

Bukoto street has become a nightmare for motorists and pedestrians

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Other roads in the city that have been eaten up by potholes

 John Babiiha Road, Kololo

 John Babiiha Road, Kololo

 John Babiiha Road, Kololo

 John Babiiha Road, Kololo

 John Babiiha Road, Kololo

 John Babiiha Road, Kololo

 Kanjokya Street, Kamwokya

 Kanjokya Street, Kamwokya

 Kanjokya Street, Kamwokya

 Kanjokya Street, Kamwokya

 Kanjokya Street, Kamwokya

 Kanjokya Street, Kamwokya

 Kyaggwe Road

 Kyaggwe Road

 Kyaggwe Road

 Lugogo Bypass

 Lugogo Bypass

 Martin Road, Old Kampala

  Martin Road, Old Kampala



 

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