Uganda: No Money to Fix Open Manholes - City Leaders

22 October 2020

Jinja City Authority says it does not have funds to replace open drainage channels in the town.

There are many open manholes in the city, with many residents concerned that the gaping holes are a death trap.

But the city public relations officer, Mr Rajab Kito, on Tuesday said they do not have budget allocations for fixing broken drainage covers and manholes.

He explained that ever since Jinja gained city status on July 1, it has not received any funding from the central government for running its operations.

"Jinja City Authority is directly responsible for maintenance of all tarmac roads, replacing drainage systems and lighting; unfortunately, there is no specific fund allocated for these," Mr Kito said.

He, however, noted that their focus is on completing the road leading to State Lodge, extension of Main Street and Eng Dhikusooka Road.

Mr Kito added that the city authority does not have by-laws to punish motorists and other residents who break the drainage covers.

However, the Jinja City speaker, Mr Moses Bizitu, refuted claims that there is no money for replacement of broken drainage covers and street lights.

"That is not true. Council has a budget of Shs1.2b under the engineering department for road maintenance and other construction projects; that is why you see the road team cleaning up the city," Mr Bizitu explained.

He added that the council passed a resolution that whoever knocks down a security light pole or damages a drainage cover replaces it.

Mr Emmanuel Ibanda, a resident of Magwa Road, said lack of security lights around Kiira Road junction has given leeway to criminals to rob residents.

Mr Ibanda, who commutes to Kampala daily for work, said last month at around 5pm, he was attacked by a group of youth who emerged from a drainage hole.

Ms Mary Okello, who works in Jinja Central Market, said Nalufenya Road has many open manholes that have not been closed for two years.

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