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Kampala Potholes: Contracted Companies Suspend Fuel, Asphalt Supply To KCCA Over Non-Payment

Vehicles going through the potholes at Sir Apolo Kaggwa road

The current poor state of roads in Kampala is a result of the failure of the Kampala Capital City Authority to clear payments for fuel and asphalt material supplied to it by various companies in the past.

The Authority owes more than 2.6 billion Shillings to supplies of fuel for their fleet and an undisclosed amount of money to suppliers of asphalt, according to Kampala Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago.

He explains that Total, the supplier of fuel stopped fueling KCCA trucks four months ago, and as a result, trucks cannot be deployed for road maintenance works.

This, he says has been exacerbated by the lack of asphalt material to be used to fill potholes in the City’s old road infrastructure because suppliers of asphalt have also declined to supply to KCCA until they are paid.

Although he could not divulge details about the unpaid arrears to the asphalt suppliers, Lukwago said that this is why KCCA has now resorted to filling potholes using murram which is not effective, especially during the current rainy season.

Lukwago’s statement came a day after Dr Spire Ssentongo, a cartoonist and lecturer of Philosophy at Makerere University Kampala held an online exhibition of the potholes in the city. During the exhibition held on Monday, several Ugandans posted, on Twitter, pictures of potholes in their localities around Kampala.

The exhibition was intended to expose the dire situation of the roads in Kampala and prompt the City Authorities and government to take action. Lukwago lauded Ugandans for the exhibition saying that their voices mean a lot in the demand for service delivery.

KCCA Spokesperson Simon Kasyate declined to provide any tangible Information on the development but stated that “if the political head of the Institution has said so, then that is the official position of the authority.” He added that the Lord Mayor is accountable for his statements.

Kampala has a total of 2100km of the road network but only 30 per cent is tarmac or paved and yet much of it is also in a bad state. By December 2022,  KCCA had recorded an area of 8,500 square meters of potholes spread across the five divisions of the City.

KCCA Executive Director Dorothy Kisaka says that KCCA needs between 75 to 100 billion Shillings annually for road maintenance but gets only about 26 billion Shillings from the Uganda Road Fund to perform the task.

“We have met the parliamentary committee to raise awareness of the problems of -dead roads- for lack of better words, otherwise, we mean roads that have outlived their useful lives,” says Kisaka adding that in this quarter of the financial years, KCCA shall use part of the released funds to fix sections that fit within the provided budget.

Kisaka however reiterated that KCCA has started to implement construction works for close to 70 km of roads funded using the 288 billion Dollars from the African Development Bank-ADB. However, the Lord Mayor has raised a red flag regarding this money questioning how a kilometre of road in Kampala consumed over 15 billion Shillings to be constructed.


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