Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) has been forced to close the Kabale-Ntungamo highway after landslides destroyed part of this major trade route which connects Uganda to Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
The affected section is about 18 kilometres away from Kabale town. Heavy flooding washed away the soils that held a pavement together which made it a dangerous spot for motorists.
In a statement, UNRA said that the pavement failure was realized at Nyarungwe Kabaraga hills in Kaharo sub-county, Kabale district after the landslides hit the place adjacent to the road. The landslides resulted from heavy rains which started in the wee hours of Saturday morning at around 2:00 am.
This forced UNRA to divert traffic flow with trucks destined for Rwanda being advised to use the Ntungamo – Mirama hills road while those to DRC through Kisoro have been advised to use the alternative route of Mbarara-Ishaka-Katunguru-Ishasha and Mbarara- Ishaka–Kikorongo-Mpondwe roads.
Augustine Kabale, the roads authority’s station manager for Kabale said that they had dispatched a team to repair the affected place. He declined to reveal why UNRA did not advise truck drivers to use old Kabale road as the alternative route. Our reporter reliably understands that the old Kabale road which is the nearby alternative route is in a sorry state.
Norah Twenda, a district councilor for Kaharo and Maziba sub-county said that mudslides had also killed eight goats in Kaharo sub-county while the two classroom blocks at Maziba primary school were demolished by the mudslides.
The mudslides, Twenda said, had also exhumed four bodies at Rwabachina, Nyanja parish, Maziba sub-county.
At Bwaya village, Rubaya sub-county, the mudslides destroyed eight houses in addition to crop gardens.