Canadian firm suggests nanotechnology for dusty Kampala roads

Nile Post News

Nile Post News

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A Canadian firm, NTI Nanotechnology Corporation, says nanotechnology could have a lasting solution to Kampala’s dusty roads and equally lower maintenance costs.
The firm’s officials on Thursday met Kampala Capital City Authority-KCCA Division engineers to introduce them to nano-particles that if mixed with water and cement could make the paved roads live longer to resist erosion during the rainy season.The meeting was attended by engineers from Kawempe, Makindye, Rubaga, Nakawa and Jacob Byamukama, the Deputy Director in Charge of Roads at KCCA.

The company’s Chief Executive Officer, Andres Voskuil said the nano-particles made of zinc and irons are applied as the last layer on well-graded roads.

The particles chemically change the soils and sand on roads to minimise dust and water penetration.

Voskuil said the Nano-technology has been used in Argentina to change properties in road construction.

He suggested that unlike bitumen which usually gets affected by too much heat from sunrays, the Nano-particles also resist heat and therefore avoid expansions leading to the usual cracking effects.

While some of the engineers at the meeting were skeptical about the suggested technology, some believed it could reduce Kampala’s budget on some of the existing paved roads.

But KCCA engineers wondered whether the new technology will not be more expensive given that it suggests the introduction of cement into the mix. Paved roads in the country have traditionally been constructed by compacting soil with layers of murram.

Kampala Capital City Authority currently spends about one $ 1 million to upgrade each kilometre to tarmac or also known as bitumen roads.

Statistics from the Uganda Road Fund in 2015 indicated said the road maintenance backlog had peaked at $1.25 billion covering over 51,000  kilometres.

KCCA roads according to the figures constituted 700 kilometres of roads that needed maintenance.

Uganda Road Fund indicates that the country’s road network of 140,000 km has a replacement value of $ 6.2 billion,  which is nearly 24 percent of Uganda’s GDP.

KCCA and most of the local governments continue to face a dilemma in road maintenance as well as opening new ones at a time when the roads budget has stagnated.

 

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