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103 Kilometers of Road Network Remain Cut Off in Nakasongola

Anyakun said that the government is closely working with the affected local governments to manage and extend help to the disaster victims. The minister’s statement fell short of mentioning the affected roads.
Residents walking through the road connecting Munami landing site to Nakasongola town council . The Road was cut off by rising water levels at Lake Kyoga
At least 103 kilometers of roads in Nakasongola district have remained impassable after being washed away and cut off by the rising water levels in Lake Kyoga. In 2020, the water levels in Lake Kyoga increased and submerged nearby infrastructures including roads.  

A statement issued by State Minister for Relief, Disaster Preparedness and Refugees, Esther Anyakun on Tuesday shows that about 22 out of 25 landing sites in the district are affected by the rising water levels. Anyakun said that approximately 103 kilometers of the road network have been affected by either being washed away or cut off.

Anyakun said that the government is closely working with the affected local governments to manage and extend help to the disaster victims. The minister’s statement fell short of mentioning the affected roads. However, the district authorities have listed the affected roads as Kibuye-Zengebe, Munami-Kibuye, Kikoge-Katuba and Kabasombwa –Lwampanga among others.

Nakasongola District Engineer, Bob Masembe says that the district lacks funds to rehabilitate the affected roads. In his report, Masembe said that by end of quarter one of this financial year, the district expected to receive Shillings 136 million from the road fund but only received Shillings 85 million, which is not enough to work on the roads.

Nakasongola district has a road network measuring 2,689.43 kilometers comprising both feeder and community roads. Allan Ssempebwa, the Media Relations Manager of Uganda National Roads Authority couldn’t be reached for comment as he neither picked nor returned calls from our reporter.

Bernard Kirya, the Budyebo County Member of Parliament, says that they have presented the list of the affected roads to the Works and Transport Minister and Office of the Prime Minister but nothing has been done. Kirya said that they were told that engineers need to erect bridges on some of the affected road sections if the roads are to be used again. 

He, however, says that the district lacks the money to fix the roads. He says that the Works and Transport Minister, Katumba Wamala has advised them to ensure that the affected roads are captured in the National Development Plan for future consideration.

Kirya says that fishermen living in areas cut off by the water are facing the challenge of transporting fish and other goods to the market leaving them in poverty. He says that some of the affected people have resorted to longer routes, which has increased their expenditure.

  Simon Kaweesi, a resident of Kabasombwa, says that initially, they would travel less than a kilometer to access Lwampanga town council but now move about five kilometers to access the same town because of using an alternative route. 

Data from Nakasongola district fisheries department shows that at least fish worth Shillings 14.2 billion is sold annually from Lake Kyoga. Some of the fish is transported to markets through the affected road network.

About 1,762 people in Nakasongola displaced by the water levels are still out in the cold. Efforts to relocate them to Kyalubanga Forest Reserve are yet to bear results because of delayed degazetment by parliament.