Sunday, 4 August 2013

Karamoja roads impassable as bus operators threaten to quit


 Passengers try to remove a bus stuck in the mud in Lokdudu village on Moroto-Mbale road via Nakapiripirit on Wednesday.


Moroto/Nakapiripirit - Travelling from the central region to Karamoja has again become difficult following the current rains that have cut off all the roads leading to the sub-region.
Travellers and motorists are stranded as sudden seasonal heavy rains have caused flooding, rendering roads impassable.
Early this year, Karamoja was cut off from the rest of the country after floods destroyed all the bridges.
Although the government is currently tarmacking the Moroto-Nakapiripirit road, construction works will only stop at Nakapiripirit Town Council, leaving Nakapiripirit-Bulambuli road.
Vehicles that got stuck on Moroto-Soroti road have blocked movements.
The Nakapiripirit Resident District Commissioner, Mr Godfrey Aluma, who was part of the travelers on Wednesday, spent the night in Lokudud village on Nakapiripirit-Mbale road after he got stuck.
He decried the state of the roads, saying it will slow business.
He appealed to the government to repair the road saying the current state of the road was a security threat.
“The road is terrible and for the next one week it will become a garden because it is being worsened by heavy trucks that are transporting marble stones from Kosiroi in Moroto District to Tororo for making cement,” he said.
Mr Sam Lorot, a trader in Moroto, said the prices of food in Karamoja are most likely to increase because of the challenges that traders could face in transporting food should the rains continues.
Mr Hassan Mohammed, a bus conductor, said the road conditions are worsening, adding that during the previous rains their company encountered a lot of issues on Karamoja roads. “We were supposed to pick passengers and continue to various destinations this morning, but it has not been possible due to the muddy roads,” he said.
Mr Mohammed said they might suspend business until the rainy season ends if floods continue.
The Uganda National Road Authority engineer on Moroto-Nakapiripirit road, Mr Hassan Ssentamu, said the road was is under construction by Chinese.
He also advised the bus companies and drivers to use strong tyres.