KATONGA, UGANDA: Traffic along the Kampala-Masaka highway has been left paralysed after River Katonga burst its banks posing a serious risk to motorists and pedestrians using the usually busy roadway.
In a traffic update announced on Thursday morning by the Uganda Police, travellers from Kampala to Masaka using the highway have been encouraged to utilize the Mpigi-Butambala-Ssembabule road as a viable alternative.
“The water levels at Katonga River have risen significantly, posing a serious risk to motorists and pedestrians attempting to cross. For your safety, we strongly advise using alternative routes while we collaborate with @UNRA_UG to address the situation promptly,” reads in part a tweet by police sent out on Thursday morning.
“Travellers from Kampala are encouraged to utilize the Mpigi-Butambala-Ssembabule road as a viable alternative,” it adds.
Additionally, individuals travelling from Masaka are advised to take the Masaka-Ssembabule Road as a diversion as police work tirelessly in collaboration with the Uganda National Roads Authority to address the situation.
“Please exercise caution, follow traffic instructions, and watch out for further updates. Your safety is our utmost priority.”
The water levels which started rising at around 6 am, according to motorists have made it difficult to cross the bridge and only big vehicles can make use of the road.
“Traffic officers and UPDF soldiers have been deployed at the scene to control traffic and motorists with small vehicles are advised to wait until the water subsides. Those who are rushing are using the Mpigi-Kanoni- Sembabule –Villa Maria-Masaka road as an alternative route to avoid the delays,” said Sula Kizito, a commuter Taxi operator on Kampala-Masaka route said.
In an additional statement, the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) said “We have reports of flooding at Katonga section on Masaka Road. Our teams are assessing the situation and exploring possible interventions & diversion routes.”
“For now, we STRONGLY advise road users to exercise extreme caution when approaching this section,” a statement added.
The recent heavy rains have already wreaked havoc in the mountainous areas where mudslides have already claimed some lives and displaced hundreds.
Uganda enjoys two major rainy seasons (March-May) and (September–December), but due to climate change, the rains these days are destructive and sometimes delay or come unexpectedly.
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