Heavy rain disrupts Hoima city road repairs

People stranded on the other side of River Wambabya whose bridge was damaged by heavy rainfall in Hoima City West Division in 2023. PHOTO/BUSIINGE AGGREY

Summary:

  • Heavy rainfall in Hoima West City Division has damaged the vital River Wambabya bridge, leaving residents unable to connect, and although emergency funding is sought, construction is delayed until the heavy rains subside, according to city authorities.

In Hoima West City Division, the incessant and intense rainfall, exacerbated by a lack of adequate funds, has created significant challenges for residents seeking to connect with neighboring areas, writes The Black Examiner’s Busiinge Aggrey.

The critical River Wambabya bridge, serving as a vital link between Ruyanja and Kasasa cells, succumbed to the force of rapidly flowing water during the extended heavy rains that persisted from October through December, a period that typically marks the dry season. The aftermath has left residents unable to traverse to the other side of the Division, forcing some to resort to perilous attempts at wading through thigh-deep, fast-flowing water to reach their gardens and local businesses across the river.

Ms. Sarah Bainomugisa, a resident of Ruyanja cell, expresses the ongoing struggle residents face due to blocked access to essential services. The lack of viable detours compels some to brave the turbulent waters of River Wambabya, a risky endeavor with potential hazards hidden beneath the surface. Sarah highlights the dangers, explaining that hitting a submerged stone can lead to a dangerous fall, with the swift current posing a threat to personal safety.

The bridge, which underwent repairs just a year ago, could not withstand the onslaught of heavy rainfall. Hoima City Road Engineer, Boventure Kiiza, reveals that the culverts, a crucial component costing Shs5m, were part of infrastructure maintenance designed to enhance people’s access within the Division. However, despite receiving Shs12m from the city coffers to address road-related issues, the allocated funds fall short of the substantial amount required for comprehensive reconstruction.

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Kiiza emphasizes the necessity of at least Shs50m to execute the project effectively, leaving a shortfall of Shs38m. To address the pressing issue, the city authorities have sought emergency funding from the Road Fund agency to supplement the meager budget. The plan involves constructing protective head and wing walls on either side of the culverts to prevent future damage.

In compliance with directives from the Minister of Works and Transport, Gen Edward Katumba Wamala, not to allocate additional funds to road construction during the ongoing heavy rains nationwide, Kiiza explains the need to await improved weather conditions. Hoima City Mayor, Mr. Brian Kaboyo, urges affected road users to exercise patience, assuring them that infrastructure improvements will commence promptly once the heavy rains subside. Acting prematurely, he warns, would be futile and result in wasted taxpayers’ money, as the rains could compromise the construction efforts before completion.

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