By HOMELAND MEDIA TEAM
Transport between Kalungu and Gomba districts has been paralysed for days after rising water levels in River Katonga washed away a bridge along Villa-Maria- Kabulasoke road following a Wednesday heavy downpour.
Currently, motorists from Kalungu connecting to Gomba use the Sembabule –Kisozi-Kifampa Road or Masaka-Kampala road and branch off from Kayambwe in Mpigi District which makes the journey longer by 120 km and 95km respectively.
On Thursday, residents improvised and put up a temporary wooden bridge to be able to cross to either side of the river on foot after paying between Shs5, 000 and Shs10, 000.
However, the temporary bridge is weak and travelers risk drowning in water, according to local authorities and from observation.
The most inconvenienced residents are those in the trading centers of Bugomola, Miwula, Birongo, and the villages of Kiryanongo and Kifampa, and Mirembe.
“It has become difficult to connect to Gomba these days, some of us own gardens across but we have nowhere to pass,” Ms. Margaret Namazzi, a resident at Bugomola A, Kalungu District said in an interview on Monday.
Mr. David Ssegawa, the chairperson Lwabenge Sub County, Kalungu District urged motorists to avoid the flooded road and use alternative routes.
“Motorists should avoid using this road for now because it has become a death trap. There are other roads they can use and reach their destinations safely,” Mr. Ssegawa said.
He said during the previous election while addressing a rally at Lwabenge Sub County headquarters, President Museveni promised to tarmac the road as a reward to residents who helped him come into power in 1986.
“President Museveni and his fighters camped here during the war and our parents helped him a lot but they were never compensated. His government promised to tarmac this road in return but still, it has failed to fix it,” Mr. Ssegawa said.
He said although routine maintenance on the road has been made over the last three decades, flood water from River Katonga continues to damage it during the rainy season.
Eng. Moses Nyakana, the Uganda National Roads Authority (Unra) station manager in Masaka sub-region said new culverts have been procured to repair the damaged bridge.
“We have already procured new big culverts and are already at the site. Our engineers are going to fix that problem and the road will be in a motorable state in the coming four days,” he said.
He said plans are also underway to work on the whole section from Villa-Maria to Kabulasoke once the rainy season ends.
According to the Uganda National Meteorological Authority (UNMA), some parts of the country were likely to experience near to normal to above-normal (wetter than average rainfall ) between September to December, which may lead to flash flooding in low-lying areas.
Heavy rains have already wreaked havoc in the mountainous areas where mudslides have already claimed some lives and displaced hundreds.
Uganda enjoys two major rainy seasons (March-May) and (September–December), but due to climate change, the rains these days are destructive and sometimes delay or come unexpectedly.