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Temporary Closure of Hoima-Kampala Highway Leads to Increased Transport Fares

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Travelers along the Hoima-Kampala route are facing heightened transport fares due to the temporary closure of the Hoima-Kampala highway. The closure was enforced after the River Kafu burst its banks, submerging the entire bridge on Monday evening.

Following this closure, transporters navigating the Kampala-Hoima route have been diverted to the Hoima-Masindi road. This change has prompted transporters to raise fares from Sh20,000 to Sh25,000 for the journey from Hoima to Kampala.

Ham Mugisa, Chairperson of the Management of Hoima Taxi/Bus Park, clarified in an interview that due to the altered route, fares have been revised to Sh25,000. This increase aims to offset the additional kilometers covered by transporters because of the closure of the Hoima-Kampala Road.

The detour through Masindi to access Kampala encompasses approximately 200 kilometers, adding an extra 70 kilometers for direct travelers. Mugisa appealed for passengers’ patience, emphasizing that this fare increase is a temporary measure. He cautioned drivers on the Hoima-Kampala route to adhere to the agreed-upon transport fares of 25,000 Shillings and maintain discipline, avoiding overcharging passengers.

Travelers expressed difficulty in affording the current transport fares, contemplating postponing their trips until the water levels on the Kafu bridge subside.

Joseph Serunkuma, a driver on the Hoima-Kampala route, justified the fare increase, citing the extended journey and the additional kilometers covered. To manage the escalating traffic on both sides of the river, Julius Hakiza, the Albertine region police spokesperson, confirmed police deployment to prevent further disruptions.

The Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) has been closely monitoring the flooded Kafu bridge, warning motorists and pedestrians against crossing it. UNRA, along with the police, directed road users to utilize alternative routes while the situation is addressed.

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Allan Ssempebwa, the UNRA spokesperson, conveyed that their team, including engineers and technical personnel, is currently assessing and monitoring the water levels at the flooded bridge. Despite repeated warnings, some road users have attempted to cross the bridge, which Ssempebwa highlighted as dangerous. He stressed the importance of adhering to guidelines and utilizing alternative routes until the situation is resolved.

The closure of the Hoima-Kampala highway has significantly disrupted transportation, with authorities urging patience until the situation is rectified. Local residents and officials in the affected regions have highlighted the impact on their daily lives and called for prompt government and UNRA intervention to address the situation.

This incident mirrors a similar event in November 2015 when the River Kafu experienced a similar flood situation, causing prolonged transportation disruptions between Kampala and Hoima along the same route.

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