Heavy rains that have fallen in much of the Lake Victoria basin for the past two weeks have made the already dilapidated roads in Jinja district almost impassable.
Low-grade murram roads have been washed away, creating huge gullies though which cars cannot navigate. Areas in the Nile valley and those in proximity to the Lake Victoria wetland system are flooded. Only large four-wheel cars and trucks can attempt to pass through them.
Most affected are the areas of Buyengo, Butagaya, Budondo and Busede.
Charles Kirigwajjo, a truck driver in Butagaya, says he has spent a fortune on fuel because he has to travel a long distance to find a useable road. He says the damage to the road results in damage to his truck, forcing him to transfer the burden of repair costs to his customers.
Kirigwajjo says that before the rains he charged 100,000 shillings to transport goods over a distance of 40 kilometers to Jinja town. Now, he has raised this amount to 150,000 shillings.
John Mulaza, a fresh fruits trader in Jinja town, says the poor state of the roads is very bad for his business. He relies on produce from the rural areas where transportation is difficult.
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Jinja is one of the districts benefiting from the European Union-funded Community Agricultural Infrastructural Improvement Program. Many people in the district are asking how money from the program, of which part was to be used for road rehabilitation, was utilized.
The LC5 chairman of Jinja, Hannington Basakana, says the rehabilitation of the roads through the Community Agricultural Infrastructural Improvement Program has been delayed by government red tape. He says the money is controlled by the central government and there have been delays in disbursing it to the districts.
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infrastructural improvement program