Mpigi-Kanoni-Sembabule Road Impacting Lives in Gomba

5422 Views Gomba, Uganda

In short
Rebbecca Nabakooza, a roadside vendor, says the road is also bringing fortunes to low income earners, mostly women who have put up a number of stalls to sell a number of items to travelers.

As the upgrading of Mpigi-Kanoni-Sembabule road takes shape, residents of Butambala and Gomba districts are moving with their heads up because the tarmac road has started impacting their livelihoods.

In 2010, the Uganda National Roads Authority-UNRA embarked on upgrading Mpigi-Kanoni-Sembabule road.

However, civil works never begun until 2016 when Energoprojekt and China Railway No.3 Engineering Group Co. Ltd were contracted to construct the two sections of the road from Mpigi to Kanoni and Kanoni-Sembabule-Villa Maria respectively at Shilling 360billion.

The first section from Mpigi to Kanoni is nearly complete. Work on the remaining section is also progressing despite frustrations by compensation woes and fuel thefts among other challenges.

Those who plied the route before 2018 have black memories of speeding cars leaving behind a cloud of dust on a potholed feeder road. It would take one three hours on a good day and almost five during rainy days to access Kanoni town, where Gomba District Headquarters are found, just 100km away from Kampala.

However, one only needs one and half hours currently thanks to the new road.
Ivan Mutaawe,  boda boda rider notes that transport is getting better every single day unlike in the past where the area had a few commuter taxis operating along the route.
//Cue in: "olugudo lukyusiza transport…
Cue out…kubanga communication yamanyi."//

Mutaawe also says that besides transport, different business is booming in several townships along the road, adding that businessmen have started erecting storied structures in areas like Maddu, Kanoni and Kabulasoke among others to attract big business operators. 

//Cue in: "ebizimbe bimeruse…
Cue out…ebazimba kyebagala."// 

The real estate business in the area has also started picking up as many people are rushing to buy land in the area since it is now accessible compared to the past.

Sam Muchunguzi, a land broker in Kanoni town, notes that a 50ft by 100ft plot now costs between Shillings 6 and 10 million continues to rise by day.

Rebbecca Nabakooza, a roadside vendor, says the road is also bringing fortunes to low income earners, mostly women who have put up a number of stalls to sell a number of items to travelers. 

//Cue in: "abakyala abo abakolera…
Cue out…kampala nebasubula."//
Michael Muwonge, the Kanoni Town Clerk, notes that as people start up new businesses along the route, the town council is also slowly increasing on its local revenue collection.
However, the road has not only impacted the financial and physical development of the district, it is also impacting the health sector since it has shortened the time patients spend on their way to Gombe Hospital.
Saleh Ssenyonjo, the Gomba District Information Officer, says in  previous years, retention and attraction of civil servants in the district was low due to poor accessibility among other factors.
Ssenyonjo says with development getting close day by day, their retention rate among teachers and health workers is also improving.
Herbert Mutyaba Kaggwa, the Gomba District Engineer, says as the main truck road has been upgraded, it's now upon the district to play its part by upgrading the district and community assess routes so that people, goods and service can be delivered in time to their destinations in and out of the district.
//Cue in: "community access roads…
Cue out…main truck road."//
Mutyaba is however concerned on how the contractor is working on sections linking the district roads to the main road. He says that he has observed, as an engineer, that if these parts are not worked on well they may affect the durability of the main road. He argues that in most cases each road connecting to the main road must be tarmacked to about 100m.