Travellers Having Nightmare on Mombasa-Juba Route

August 21, 2013 9:44 am0 comments by:

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Kampala-Travellers along the Mombasa-Juba road are grappling with the poor state of the road network in Uganda.

Travellers along the 1,003 kilometres route that stretches from Mombasa, Kenya to the South Sudanese border town, of Nimule are having a nightmare, especially on the Ugandan side where several spots, are in a deplorable state.

The truck drivers, who ply the route say they now spend close to fourteen days, to move between Mombasa and Juba unlike in the past when the journey would take them only  five days.

A truck driver who identified himself as Abubakar Salim says the poor road network in Uganda has greatly affected their work and income.  He explains that they lose a lot of time on the road which in turn affects their allowances.

Abubakar says in the past before the road deteriorated he used to make more money because he would make two trips in two weeks unlike today when he makes only one.

“It’s rare these days for one to move from Malaba, to Nimule without the vehicle breaking down, most time times you just have to pray to God, that the vehicle, does not breakdown or gets involved in an accident” Abubakar says the worst spots are along Tororo-Mbale and Mbale-Soroti a distance of 150 kilometers which now takes up to six hours to cover it.

According to Abubakar other bad spots include the Corner Kamdini-Gulu stretch and Gulu Nimule border stretch.

James Ebitu an official of Rock Express a bus company that plies, the 470 kilometre stretch between Gulu, northern

Uganda and the Busia border town in the east says their company usually incurs losses because of the poor state of the road.

Ebitu explains that the end of each trip, they have to take the bus to the garage for repairs before embarking on a return journey.

The road is also inconveniencing travellers.

Jane Amoding a regular traveller, from Soroti to Mbale, says unlike in the past they now have to pay more money, to meet the cost of traveling on the same 100 km stretch because of the poor state of the road.

“The drivers increased the fare when the road deteriorated saying that they now spend more on fuel to cover the route” explains Amoding who explains that it now takes three hours to move between Soroti to Mbale a distance of 100 kilometres.

A local company Dott Services was contracted the repair the 150 kilometre stretch between Soroti and Mbale three years ago however to date the company has only carried out less than 30% of the work.

The route is a shortcut from Mombasa port to landlocked Southern Sudan.

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