Transport paralyzed as Kabale-Kisoro road caves in

The heavy rains have caused the death of about 18 people in the districts of Rukiga, Rubanda, and Kisoro between the night of Tuesday-Wednesday this week.

A section of the road that caved in on Thursday, May 04, 2023. PHOTO/URN

KABALE, UGANDA: Transport along the Kabale-Kisoro and Hamurwa-Kanungu roads came to a standstill on Thursday after one of the roads connecting the districts caved in during a heavy downpour.

The Kabale-Kisoro road caved in at Bwaara village in Hamurwa town council, Rubanda district, while the Hamurwa-Kanungu road caved in and is completely cut off by floods at the Hamurwa floating bridge in Hamurwa town council, Rubanda district.

The Kabale-Kisoro road connects Uganda to the neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) through the Bunagana border and Rwanda through the Chanika border.

The Hamurwa-Kanungu road connects Uganda to DR Congo through the Ishasha border. Our reporter at the scene saw traffic moving in both directions of the road paralyzed.

Among those affected include white tourists, buses, cargo trucks, and United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) officials who were transporting Congolese refugees from the Nyakabande reception centre to Nakivale camp.

Emmanuel Tumwebaze, one of the road users found stuck at Bwaara village, said he had used the road heading to Rubanda district headquarters early in the morning at around 8:00 AM. But on returning back heading to Kabale town at around 10:00 AM, Tumwebaze says that he found trouble with the caved-in road. Tumwebaze attributed the problem to too much rain.

Victor Baryebuza, 52, a resident of Bwaara village, said the caving-in of the road at the spot last happened in 1982. He said that the cause could be a water source adjacent to the road. Allan Ashaba, another resident, said that the caved-in road did not only affect vehicles but also boda boda riders.

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Fred Turyamureeba, a resident of Shebeya village in Sheyeba parish, Hamurwa sub-county, said that the collapse of the Hamurwa floating bridge connecting Kabale-Rubanda and Kanungu had completely affected transport. He called upon the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) to intervene swiftly with measures to manage the situation.

Denis Twesigyomwe, the Rubanda District Engineer, called on users to carefully use the road as the government comes in to intervene.

By the time of filing this story, UNRA officials were yet to arrive on the scene. Allan Ssempebwa, the UNRA public relations officer, told our reporter that they were already aware of the situation.

He said that UNRA was in discussion with police to assess and decide if they could temporarily close the road.

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Kigezi is among the regions across the country that are receiving heavy rains. The heavy rains have caused the death of about 18 people in the districts of Rukiga, Rubanda, and Kisoro between the night of Tuesday-Wednesday this week.

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