Has Jinja-Kampala highway turned into a giant blackspot?

Has Jinja-Kampala highway turned into a giant blackspot?
Social media backlash over the state of Jinja-Kampala highway

The old adage that "the day employees stop bringing you their problems is the day you have stopped leading" suits the state of affairs in Uganda.

A case in point are the several campaigns running in different media outlets including social media where Ugandans have embarked campaigns to challenge the status quo in service delivery.

This week the users of Jinja-Kampala highway have embarked on an online campaign described Jinja Highway fast becoming one giant black spot.

This is linked to the degenerating state of the Trans-Africa highway which has been engulfed in potholes.

The potholed marked area start just outside Nile Breweries in Njeru where a giant pit-like pothole has developed unattended to by Uganda National Roads Authority since last year.

This particular troubling spot has seen motorists heading to Kampala side crossover the island to the other side of the dual carriage way rather than endure it all.

More gaping potholes are found in Mbiko, Nakibizzi ,Kitogoma, Lugalambo, Mabira which have in some instances caused fatal accidents with several head on collisions as vehicles swarve to dodge potholes only to collide with oncoming traffic.

Motorists who use the road also normally face punctures and broken suspensions if they hit an abrupt pothole.

One wonders how a road which handles the largest volume of Uganda's international trade can be left to deteriorate to such a derelict level.

The online activists wonder whether the poor state of Jinja-Kampala Highway is due to meagre resources because some of these potholes can be temporarily patched in a day.

On February 26, there was a fatal accident at Lugalambo near the tea estate when a truck driver carrying cattle to the market attempted to dodge a pothole only to lose control and ram into an oncoming tipper truck.

Two people died including one who died on spot and another one died on arrival in Jinja regional referral.

More than 10 people sustained serious injuries such as broken limbs and skull damage.

While speaking to the media recently, UNRA spokesperson Allan Ssempebwa revealed that this road is under rehabilitation though the contractor started from Kampala side and he is soon approaching Namagunga area.

However, the users of this road have expressed discomfort with the slow pace of the construction works, since 2022, the road when the contractor started works from Bweyogerere, he has not yet reached Jinja.

Lugazi Municipality MP Stephen Sserubula who staged a demonstration last year over the increasing potholes on this road which led to loss of lives, he suggested that there is need to expand this highway since due to the growing number of traffic.

Apart from people losing lives in accidents they also lose alot of time due to huge traffic jam which has made travelling on this 78km a nightmare.

"It takes between 3 to 4 hours to travel from Jinja to Kampala yet it would take literally one hour," Sserubula said.

He added that the road is narrow and it should be redesigned to much the growing traffic.

The would be alternative route the Jinja Express Highway has only remained on paper with tangible work on ground.

Reader's Comments