Africa-Press – Uganda. Residents and motorists using the Busia to Tororo road have a reason to smile after the government started tarmacking the 26km road.
The construction of the road, which involves an additional 18kms between Busia Town and Mayuge District, is being undertaken by the China Railway 18th Bureau Company at Shs136b over 24 months.
Speaking to Monitor on Monday, the residents said the construction of the road was long overdue.
Mr Isa Mulalu, an ambulance driver at the Busia District health department, said the road has been a nightmare.
“Imagine this stretch from Busia to Tororo is less than 30kms long, but I spend close to an hour [to travel between the districts] because of the many potholes,” he said.
Mr Hassan Kamwadda, a taxi driver who plies the Busia-Tororo-Mbale route, said whenever he uses the road, he has to take his vehicle for repair.
“We planned to plant banana stems in every pothole that dotted the stretch, but I am happy that the government has fulfilled its promise and started having the road upgraded,” he said.
In an interview with Monitor on Monday, Mr Simon Dong, the commercial manager of China Railway 18 Bureau company, said: “We have cleared the bush along the entire stretch from Busia Town to Tororo; as of now, we are fixing the roadbed in six kilometres and so far, the work is progressing well.”
Mr Fred Mukasa Kyabire, the site engineer, said they have also laid 6kms of the roadbed.
“The roadbed is the foundation for the road and that is what we are doing to ensure the quality of work is good,” he said, adding that they have mobilised several equipments including bulldozers, graders, rollers and dumper trucks, and are expecting more machines.
The government promised to rehabilitate the road 15 years ago but nothing came of the promise.
Mr Fredrick Munji, a resident of Busia, said he is optimistic that several businesses are going to spring up once construction is complete.
Mr Majid Wejuli, another resident, said since the road provided a shorter alternative route between Busia and Tororo districts, it is an important route to transport agricultural produce from Bugisu, Sebei, Teso and Lango sub-regions.