15 May 2017

Uganda: Police Deploy As Unra Starts Evictions Along Kampala-Entebbe Road

Photo: Alex Esagala/Daily Monitor
A UNRA official directs a driver of a bulldozer on the starting point.

Kampala — Police has deployed along Kampala- Entebbe road as Uganda National Roads Authority takes a whip on encroachers of the road reserve.

More than 1,000 buildings on Entebbe Road will be razed down today. The exercise has started at Kibuye roundabout, and is expected to go as far as Entebbe Airport.

The law enforcement officer at UNRA, Mr John B. Ssejemba, announced the imminent exercise at a press conference at UNRA offices on Thursday.

He revealed that the properties mapped to be knocked down include residential buildings, markets, schools, Fuel stations and commercial structures along the highway and that they have so far given out 54 notices to various landlords.

"In order to clear these roads for the safety of the encroachers themselves, the road users and for easing the flow of traffic, UNRA has planned to carry out systematic evictions of all encroachers who are still operating from road reserves starting on Monday May 15, 2017," said Mr Ssejemba.

He explained that UNRA is also considering abolishing parking along Entebbe road, especially on the shoulders, in order to greatly reduce traffic congestion.

He added that for the last one year, UNRA has been involved in engagements with road encroachers along all national roads across the Country in order to encourage them to vacate voluntarily.

"And although some encroachers have vacated on their own, others still operate on the road reserves, road shoulders and in some cases driveways especially the market vendors which has continued to create congestion and traffic jams along these roads... " added Mr Ssejemba.

To be affected

He said the initial exercise will cover Entebbe Road from Kibuye roundabout to Entebbe Airport and the exercise will then be rolled out to other national roads including those in the Kampala Metropolitan Area such as Jinja Road, Masaka Road, Hoima Road, Bombo road and other urban centres across the country.

Note that billboards and sign posts are not our target this time. These will be handled after the regulations for the management of advertising have been approved for implementation.

He said UNRA carried out a joint pre-eviction and inspection exercise was carried out on 9 May with the leadership of Kampala Metropolitan Police and local leaders.

He explained that because people operate at night and during day time, the exercise will be conducted at different times i.e. during the day, at night and early in the morning throughout all the week days.

Mr Ssejemba said besides decongesting the roads, UNRA intends to expand the roads to 30 metres wide from the present 14 metres wide in order to accommodate a duo-carriage for easy transport.

The Unra resettlement action plan head, Mr Moses Muwanga, said as long as someone is deemed to have settled in the road reserve, there will be no compensation except for those who were in those places before the old road was constructed.

"We are taking action for safety and also to relieve the government from future expenditure in terms of compensation to encroachers when we want to expand the roads," said Mr Muwanga.

He said evicting encroachers is in compliance with the law which requires that the road reserves stay clear of any encroachment.


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