Scarcityof Gravel Hinders Road Maintenance in Kabarole

1740 Views Kabarole, Uganda

In short
Jackie Kabasinguzi, a resident of Rwihamba says the Rwaihamba-Isunga road becomes so dusty especially during the dry season and is almost impassable during the rainy season because of mud and potholes.

The scarcity of gravel alias murrum in Kabarole district is frustrating road maintenance. Naome Basoona, the Kabalore District Roads Engineer, says the district no longer has any reliable place to excavate from murrum that is needed for maintenance and expansion of feeder roads.




 
There are 29 feeder roads in Kabalore measuring 188.6 kilometers. This excludes numerous roads under sub-county and town council authorities. Some of the roads that need graveling are Matandi-Kinyankende, which measures 10 kilometers, Katoma Bwabya Kyembogo (11.2 kilometers), Nyabukara Harugongo (6.2 kilometers) Ruteete-Rwihamba (9.5 kilometers) among other roads. 

 
Engineer Basoona, says places like Rurama parish in Ruteete Sub-county that used to be alternative sources for murrum have run out of the mineral and they don't have any immediate solution.
 


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She explains that although there are options of blasting rocks that would give alternative material for road maintenance the rocks are not easy to find.

 
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Basoona discloses that they are now simply grading roads and using the gravel that is already there to maintain them as they search for new areas where they can mine the mineral. Rogers Baguma, a resident of Rwaihamba says the bad roads make transportation of agricultural produce very expensive.

 
"For us here we are known for producing matooke, but transporting them to town for sale is becoming expensive every day because vehicle owners complain of the bad road, while some boda boda riders hate the road because of too much dust and potholes," Baguma said.
 
 

 
Jackie Kabasinguzi, a resident of Rwihamba says the Rwaihamba-Isunga road becomes so dusty especially during the dry season and is almost impassable during the rainy season because of mud and potholes. In his state of the district address in June, Richard Rwabuhinga, the Kabarole District LC V chairperson, highlighted the problem, saying it was impacting negatively on road works in the district.



He was optimistic that it would be solved with time, but Basoona, says the problem is not about to end.


 
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Other than the scarcity of gravel, Basoona, who has worked in the district for the past 20 years, says they are allocated meager resources for road works. 




For instance, she notes that they received Shillings 339 million in the 2017/2018 financial year for road works, but argues that maintaining a kilometer of road costs between Shillings 30 and 35 million. 




She explains that this is so because during maintenance, some roads need expansion while others parts need more gravel. A truck of gravel costs Shillings 40,000 exclusive of transport and mining costs. 

 

About the author

Christopher Tusiime
Christopher Tusiime is the URN Bureau Chief in Tooro. Districts of Kyenjojo, Kamwenge, Kabarole, Ntoroko, Bunyangabu and Kyegegwa, Kitagwenda and Fort Portal Tourism City fall under his docket.

Before joining URN, Tusiime first worked at The Observer newspaper for close to four years as an education reporter.