Floods cut off Masindi roads

Floods cut off Masindi roads
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Locals in five sub counties in Masindi District are stranded and can't even access health centers as five major roads are cut off by floods.

Residents and leaders in the sub counties of Kimengo, Mirya, Nyantonzi, and Pakanyi in Masindi are stranded finding hardships to access the markets, town centers, and health facilities for medication due to roads that have been cut off by heavy rains that left river Kiyanja burst its banks.

Since early November this year, Masindi has been experiencing heavy rains, that first left River Kafu along the Kampala Gulu highway flooding into people’s homes and gardens.

As rains intensified, other sub counties of Pakanyi, Kimenyo, Nyantonzi and Mirya have experienced major challenges in movement given the poor state of roads characterized by flooding of river Kiyanja that closes most of these sub counties.

The most affected road is a 40km Masindi port road that connects Masindi to Masindi port, Kigumba town to the Kampala Gulu highway, and is filled up with waters of river Kiyanja that flooded recently.

Kugonza Jessica, a resident of Kyarukunya in Mirya Sub County says they can hardly move to the extent that they can’t even access health facilities due to the state of roads.

“Our family members fall sick, children the same but then how can you move WHEN all the roads are full of water? Not even swimming can help. Our  prayers are now to God and government because we can’t handle this situation,” Kugonza said

Samuel Andama a boda boda rider in Masindi town who shares his ordeal of riding passengers in the muddy terrible roads, says it’s straining and fuel consuming to navigate through the bad roads, especially in waters saying anything can happen and land into a pit which you may not have noticed.

“We pay taxes but look at the state of our roads here!We risk lives riding  people in the water just because we are looking for survival but you are not even sure if the road is safe as you use it,” Andam cried out.

The Kyarukunya chairperson LC 1 James Bitamazire confirmed that boda boda riders have hiked prices due to the state of roads.

“Imagine from here to Masindi a boda asking for shs15000 where it is supposed to be shs2000. This is because the boda bodas have to navigate through the waters and for long distances.”

Kyotamanya Livingstone the LC 3 chairman for Mirya Sub County says there have been several promises to work on Masindi port Rwenkunyu road for many years but until now it remains in words.

“Sometimes I get disturbed with why government make promises on working on certain projects and it never comes to pass. For instance, that Masindi port Rwenkunyu road has had several promises on being worked on but in vain. Now cars can’t cross motorcycles not exceptional even people walking risk lives” Kyotamanya said.

The Masindi District Chairman Dr. Cosmas Byaruhanga admitted that all major roads in his district are in a sorry state, something he attributes to heavy downpour experienced in the region this year.

He noted that some roads were supposed to be worked by Uganda National Roads Authority but they are being failed by weather.

“There were plans by UNRA to work on some central roads this year but look at rain every now and then, waters filled up this is greatly affecting them. So they can’t start works in such kind of situation. We ask the public to be patient as we wait for weather to normalize so new plans can be done to see which roads will be made priority,” Byaruhanga noted.

He revealed  they have already secured one billion shillings to work on roads.

“For Masindi port road we have already engaged UNRA to work on it since it’s a central road. We have our one billion shillings which we will plan for and see that at least some roads in the district are worked on as we continue lobbying for more funding.”

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