Teso Coach, City Bus Services, Trans-cargo and Gateway, the only bus companies that have been operating in Karamoja region have all pulled out.
Traders from Mbale and neighboring districts operating in Karamoja region are counting losses following a decision several bus companies that have been plying the route to suspend their operations citing bad roads. Teso Coach, City Bus Services, Trans-cargo and Gateway, the only bus companies that have been operating in Karamoja region have all pulled out. Jovan Peter Orikot, the Administrator Teso Coach Bus Company says his company has decided to suspend its services to Karamoja temporarily due to impassible roads.
He says the company was overwhelmed by the losses resulting from the frequent repairs of its buses because of the bad road. He says that unless government fixes the road in Karamoja region, Teso Coach will not resume its services in the region. Farah Deryei, the chief conductor of Gate Way Bus Company says they had suspended their services in the region for the past one week but only returned on Monday this week after several pleas from the travelers.
He says that seven of their buses are grounded because of the poor state of the Karamoja road network. Farah says sometimes they take between two to three days on the road to reach their destination in Karamoja. By 2:00pm on Tuesday, Farah said their bus that had left Moroto on Monday morning had not yet arrived in Mbale.He says they are considering pulling out completely if governments fail to come in soon. The road network in Karamoja was hit hard by torrential rains.
Most travelers have now resorted to using open trucks like tippers and Lorries that in most cases spend more than two days on the road.Even some truck drivers are also threatening to suspend their services from Karamoja protesting government’s failure to work on the roads. Nabende Siraji, one of the truck drivers on Mbale-Nakapiripirt-Moroto road says he is about to give up the job as he is operating on losses.
Siraji says vehicles have to divert through Namalu in Nakapiriprit to Moroto which is fuel consuming and tedious. He says besides repairing their damaged vehicles, they are forced to compensate their passengers for any goods damaged in transit. He says some of the items such as fresh food perish along the road whenever they get stuck for days, and they are forced by their clients to pay for damages.
//Cue in: “I always go via Sironko…
Cue out: …going to Kotido and Moroto.”//
Juma Madeyi, another truck driver threatens to mobilize all transporters to storm Ministry of Works and Transport headquarters in Kampala to express their dissatisfaction to compel government to do something about Karamoja roads. He says they are tired of unfulfilled government promises to rehabilitate roads in Karamoja.
//Cue in: “Am transporting things…
Cue out: …these roads in a good way.”//
Moses Kule, a matooke farmer from Bududa district says transporting his produce to markets in Karamoja has become extremely difficult. He says that in the past most of their customers used to bear the cost of transporting the goods, but the responsibility has returned to the farmers. Kule says they are making losses because they cannot afford the extra cost of transport because of the bad roads.
Rose Mugisa, a business woman who was found stranded in Mbale town on Tuesday with her Onions and Tomatoes because of lack of transport to Moroto called on government to urgently fix the roads in Karamoja. She says the road that stretches from Nakachumet to Moroto is almost impassible and that several vehicles are stuck there.
Recently the members of parliament from Karamoja region threatened to boycott parliamentary proceedings over government failure to rectify the state of roads in Karamoja. Presenting the national budget for 2012/2013 financial year recently, Finance Minister Maria Kiwanuka said government was in advanced stages of finalizing funding for road projects in Karamoja. The road works will cover the 92 Km stretch of Moroto-Nakapiripirit road and the 208km stretch of Soroti-Katakwi-Moroto-Lokitanyala roads. Construction of the 193 Km stretch of the Muyembe-Nakapiripirit-Moroto-Kotido is expected to start soon.
bad roads in karamoja
traders get losses
rotten fresh foods
busses pull out of karamoja
truck drivers to strike in protest of bad roads