Uganda losses Shs500m daily in traffic jam, Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) has said.
Mr Abel Opolot, the auhority’s physical planner, said the loss is in fuel, time and depression of infrastructure.
“Traffic jam is the biggest challenge in the city because the time people lose to their places of work is massive and [there is] degradation of infrastructure when vehicles are stuck in jam, it means even the roads are affected,” Mr Opolot said during the Greater Kampala metropolitan area workshop on physical planning yesterday.
He said the money Uganda loses every year in traffic jam is adequate to fund the country’s budget.
“’If you calculated how much we lose in jam for a year, the money would be adequate to fund this country’s budget because we have the early morning and evening rush hours, and when you combine the two, it compounds the problem. We are losing resources that would have been used to spike economic growth,” Mr Opolot said.
He said traffic jam can be solved by by-passes, eliminating boda bodas and public sensitisation so that they can use public means instead of individual cars and use other modes of transport like walking.
The chairperson of National Physical Planning Board, Ms Amanda Ngabirano, said they are working with the government on streamlining public transport.
“’We need higher carrying capacity vehicles to complement the 14 seaters, have bicycle lanes for short distances and that is every efficient mode of transport, also healthy and environmentally friendly. People can commute for up to 5-7 kilometres on a bicycle and that’s already one car off the road,” Ms Ngabirano said.
She, however, added that the 14 seaters will still be needed to do the feeder role but highways can be for higher carriers.
“We have already prepared a paper regarding this, we are not going not run the city, especially Greater Kampala metropolitan using the smaller carrying vehicles, and those plans are there. What is lacking are the vehicles and infrastructure,’’ Ms Ngabirano said.
She also said under-funding affects them.
“Money allocated to local government physical planning is embarrassing and too small to make visual change,” Ms Ngabirano said.
The Mukono Municipality town clerk, Mr Godfrey Kiseka, attributed poor physical planning in cities and municipalities to politicisation of issues.
‘’When I was in KCCA, we tried the registration of boda bodas but we failed because of politics, we did everything good but the Cabinet dust binned it. So I don’t think there will be registration of boda bodas,” he said.