Districts in Rwenzori region are struggling to repair their infrastructure that was damaged by the recent floods caused by heavy down rains. In the past two weeks, the region has been experiencing heavy rains. As a result, many roads have become impassable as several bridges were washed away affecting service delivery.
However, the districts lack funds to rehabilitate the roads and bridges. The most affected are Buheesi and Kisomoro sub-counties which are popular for bananas, vegetables and fruits growing. In Kabonero and Buhesi Sub County, two bridges were washed away leaving farmers stuck with their produce as they cannot access markets. The Kibota-Mugusu road, which leads farmers and traders to Mugusu market, is impassable. The road can only be used by bicycles and motorcycles.
Moses Mwirumubi, a farmer in Buhesi Sub County says that he has failed to access the market to sell his bananas and tomatoes for past one week. Mwirumubi says that his daily income has reduced from 100,000 shillings to 30,000 shillings since he uses a bicycle to transport bananas in small quantities to the market, unlike in the past when he was using a truck.
In Kisomoro, the Nsoro Bridge used by residents to access Kisomoro Health Centre III was also washed away by the floods. Prossy Nyakaoojo, a resident of Nsoro says patients especially those in need of immediate attention and expectant mothers are finding it difficult to access the health centre.
She says that some patients are forced to go to Kibiito health centre III which is 12 kilometers away. Expectant mothers have turned to traditional birth attendants who are easily accessible.
Patrick Rwakatama, the Kabarole district engineer says that they require more than 700 million shillings to repair bridges and roads. Rwakatama says that the district also lacks funds to set up temporarily bridges to ease the transport problem.
Joan Nakityo, the deputy Chief Administrative Officer Kabarole, says the 3.2 billion shillings that was allocated to the road sector in the 2012/2013 financial year was used up. She also says that money generated from local revenue collection is not enough to fund the repairs.
Nakityo appeals to residents to be patient saying the roads and bridges will be worked on in the next financial year. Kyejonjo and Bundibugyo districts need 800 and 500 million shillings respectively to repair the road network.