The Minister for Kampala Betty Amongi Ongom has said that government through KCCA has come up with a plan that would go beyond just repairing, to improving our city streets through a number of projects aimed at revamping the existing network and increasing the number of Kilometers of tarmacked roads in the city.
Currently, Kampala has a road network of 2,100Km of which 642Km is paved with a drainage system of 145 Km of major drains and 3,428Km of minor drains; of these only 714Km (20 percent) are constructed open drains.
Government is aware of the state of deteriorated road network in the city arising from an old network which has outlived its design life exhibiting potholes and edge distress.
Amongi said the repairing works will be funded by the African Development Bank in which 69 Km of road are to be constructed with walkways, cycling lanes, drainage and street lighting. “Additional funding is being sourced from The French Development Agency fund for street lighting in which we intend to deploy 20,000 street lights across the City,” she said.
To address the current outcry due to potholes challenges in the City, Government has availed funds to undertake remedial and interim measures to make roads motorable as we await the major interventions.
“9 billion Shillings has been availed this fourth quarter (April- June 2021) to undertake emergency road repairs at key points and sections of roads over the next two weeks. I am certain you are already witnessing these road works across all the five Divisions of Kampala; Nakawa, Central, Kawempe, Lubaga and Makindye,” she said.
The plan will address the overall infrastructure master plan which will also handle roads rehabilitation, traffic congestion, drainage and flooding problems in the City since road failures in Kampala are worsened by a strained and dilapidated drainage system, increased traffic load and extreme weather conditions such as heavy rains that have eroded the road surfaces.
The drainage challenges in the City shall be addressed through facilitating the implementation of the Kampala Drainage Master Plan. President Museveni, in August 2020 launched the construction of the Lubigi and Nakamiro Channels with a combined stretch of 5.88Km at a total cost of UGX 82.7 Billion. The two channels shall solve the flood concerns in the low lying areas of Bwaise in Kawempe Division stretching into Kawala in Lubaga Division. Works shall be completed by November 2021.
Other interventions being undertaken to address infrastructure challenges include current works at the Clock Tower area along Entebbe Road – the gateway to Kampala- that is going to be addressed by the completion of the Kampala Flyover Project. In addition, funds have been availed in the budget to address the major flood spots in Kampala starting in July 2021 with Shoprite Lugogo, Kyambogo areas, Nateete, Bunga-Gaba Road, Cape Munyonyo and others.
“As we endeavor to revamp our city infrastructure, we are disappointed by improper solid waste (garbage) management through irresponsible dumping of garbage (polythene, plastic bottles, agricultural and trade refuse) that ends up blocking the existing drainage system. Members of the public are cautioned against irresponsible garbage disposal in any form. Responsible garbage disposal is a civic duty for all that visit and live in Kampala. We shall start enforcement by apprehending those that litter the Capital City,” the Kampala Minister said.
She cautioned that encroaching on drainage reserves for primary and secondary channels with illegal developments should stop immediately. “Some developers construct over the drains while others illegally divert the course of drainage channels. Consequently, the capacity of drains has decreased and maintenance affected.”
“I reaffirm government’s commitment to deliver a beautiful and sustainable Capital City as well as rally all that derive opportunities in Kampala to walk hand in hand with KCCA on this journey for a better City,” she concluded.