A recent survey carried out on the roads usage shows that majority Ugandans want the government to seal the potholes and widen the narrow roads.
According to the 2016 Road User Satisfaction Survey that was carried out by CrossRaods on behalf of the Uganda Road Fund (URF), 62.7% of those interviewed said they were unhappy with the potholes, narrowness of the roads, poor drainage systems and poor road maintenance.
The survey indicates that the percentage of people who are dissatisfied with the roads dwindled to 37.3 percent in 2016 from 53.2 percent in 2015.
The survey also indicates that only 48.3 percent of Ugandans felt Safe on the Ugandan roads, compared to 51 percent in 2015. Reasons for feeling unsafe included bad driving by motorists, congestion of cyclists, lack of walkways.
Further, the survey indicated that road users from eastern Uganda were the ‘least satisfied’ while those from the western part of the country were the ‘highly satisfied’ users.
While launching the survey, the URF Executive Director Eng. Micheal Odongo, said the report would help government budget for all roads in the country.
“Most of the factors stated are just maintenance factors. Issues of dust, potholes can easily be dealt with if there was money to do the maintenance,” Odongo said, urging the government to consider the views of road users and avail the funds to improve the road network.
The Minister for Finance Matia Kasaija, who officiated at the launch, said the road maintenance fund would be increased in the next financial year.
“Roads are the main catalyst for development and economic growth hence the need for us to continue prioritizing our infrastructure development,” Minister Kasaija said in reference to the suggestions raised in the report.
The survey which started in 2012 is done annually by CrossRoads with support from United Nations and Department for International Development (DFID).
Uganda’s road network is the most used means of transport for humans and mainly agricultural products as the country does not have well developed railway, water and air transport system.
In the 2017/18 national budget government provided Shs4.8 trillion on works and transport, up from Shs3.8 trillion in the financial year 2016/17.
The major highway roads are managed by the Uganda National Roads Authority while districts manage local feeder roads.