Uganda: Traders Count Losses As Floods Cut Off Kyotera-Kasensero Road

Several community roads in Kyeebe Sub-county, Rakai District, have become impassable following heavy rain that has pounded the area, leaving traders stranded.

The floods have already cut off the road connecting Kyotera Town to Kasensero Landing Site after the main bridge on the road was submerged.

It is a nightmare for travellers from Kasensero Landing Site, especially fish dealers, to connect to Kyotera Town.

Fish dealers told Daily Monitor in an interview at the weekend that they have registered huge losses since they cannot transport their fish on time.

"Due to the poor state of the road, many trucks carrying fish have failed to reach Kyapa junction (connecting to Masaka-Kyotera -Mutukula road). This has forced fish traders to stop buying fish, causing huge losses to fishermen," Mr James Kakaire, a fish trader, said on Monday.

He said more than 10 trucks carrying tonnes of fish are stranded on the slippery road.

The 52 kilometre road, according to Mr Charles Njuba, the Kyotera District vice chairperson, has been in a poor state for some time due to shoddy work done by a previous contractor procured by Uganda National Roads Authority (Unra).

"Ever since engineers were instructed to repair this road, it has not improved. Uganda National Roads Authority employees have many questions to answer," he added.

Mr Njuba further explained that whenever it rains, the road becomes impassable thus paralysing transport on the route.

Mr Njuba said since last week, residents and school-going children have been stuck in their homes with no route to use.

"Since the school term opened on May 27, some pupils have not reported because their parents fear they may drown in the swamp," he said.

The poor state of the road has forced taxi operators to increase the fares from Kyapa junction to Kasensero Landing Site too from Shs8,000 to Shs20,000.

Mr Geoffrey Kakembo, a taxi driver, said his vehicle became faulty due to the floods and slippery surface, which has cost him almost Shs800,000 to repair.

"My Children have not gone to school yet because I have not worked for the last three weeks," he said.

Mr Njuba said the district authorities have contacted Unra officials, who have promised to dispatch a team of engineers to access the extend of the damage.

Both Unra station manager in Masaka, Mr Henry Komaketch, and Unra's corporate affairs manager, Mr Mark Ssali, did not respond to our repeated calls yesterday.

Ms Harriet Nalwoga , a resident of Minziro Village, blamed the incident on fellow residents, who she said continue cultivating on the River Kagera banks.

She urged district officials to work out a plan to evict all people who encroached on the river banks.

The fishing business at Kasensero reportedly contributes Shs14b to the national treasury annually.

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