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Two Mbale USMID Roads Waste Away Three Years After Commissioning

Some sections of Nabuyonga Rise and Mugisu Hill lane in Mbale City have wasted away three years after being commissioned by President, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni. The two are part of four roads built under the Uganda Support to Municipality Infrastructure Development (USMID) programme with funding from the World Bank worth Shillings 26 billion.

The roads developed cracks shortly after being commissioned in 2019, which has since puzzled residents. The projects also reconstruction of Pallisa road and Republic Street. Initially, government-contracted Zambian based firm, Plinth Technical Services-PTS to undertake the road works in 2014.

However, Mbale Municipality stopped the works and terminated the contract over complaints of shoddy work and design issues. Chinese firm, Zong Mei construction company was later contracted to complete the works. However, sections of Mugisu hill and Nabuyonga rise are now in a sorry state.

Both Nabuyonga Rise and Mugisu Hill lane serve as a bypass for heavy trucks. However, the section on Nabuyonga rise near Nabuyonga bridge has become impassable due to big potholes. Efforts by Mbale city authorities to seal the potholes have not yielded the desired results. Hakim Watenyeli, a resident of Mbale City blames the defects on the road on the negligence of duty by the authorities.

Abubakar Wafuba, a Boda boda rider in Mbale city, says that the bad state of the road has resulted in several accidents, especially at the bridge. He says that potholes force motorists to use one side of the road, which leads to accidents.

James Kutosi, the Mbale City Public Relations Officer, says that the City has earmarked some funds to repair the affected road sections. He says that despite diverting heavy trucks to use the two roads, they are not meant for heavy traffic.

Rhoda Nyaribi, the Mbale City Environment Officer who is also the USMID Coordinator, says that the two roads were not designed for heavy trucks. She says that the only solution is to reconstruct the road with a design meant for heavy trucks.

Kassim Namugali, the Mbale City Mayor told our reporter that the forward road maintenance works are not sustainable. He says that they can only improve the road through reconstruction to provide for heavy traffic.

USMID roads are expected to serve for more than 50 years.


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