By Joshua Kato
Early last week, Justus Mugisha loaded 30 cows from his farm in Lyantonde, destined for Meat Parkers, Kampala. Every quarter, Mugisha directly brings cattle to the abattoir in Kampala. It was all going well, until his Isuzu truck arrived at Lwera on Masaka Road.
He was told that the road is closed to traffic because the Katonga bridge had caved in. He was not the only farmer caught up in the quagmire; there were over 40 other trucks.
He had to return to Masaka to take the alternative Masaka-Ssembabule –Gomba-Mpigi road.
This route makes the journey longer by 56 km. And if you factor in the fact that he had driven up to Lwera, the total journey was longer by over 100 km.
Roads are one of the pillars on which the agriculture sector thrives. Bad roads mean that farmers’ produce will not reach the market and, gradually, production in the less accessible areas will drop.
This is certainly a recipe for poverty and disaster, especially given the fact that Ugandan rural areas have no other economic alternative other than farming.
The authorities must, therefore, make sure such roads into and out of major farming regions are passable.
Creating alternative routes, for example, the Masaka-Ssembabule –Gomba-Mpigi road was a good idea, but similar roads must be constructed in other areas.