One of the best roads in the country; Hoima-Kaiso-Tonya Road has broken down due to the rising Lake Albert water level.
It is the best of all oil roads so far constructed in the ALbertine region.
Water has cut-off the connection to Ngasa 2 oil pad which is also sunk.
Henry Irumba, the Kaiso-Tonya village Chairperson has told Kazi-njema News that the tarmac distance sunk is nearly a kilometer. The fisheries office too is gone.
There is nothing much being lost for now in relation to the road alone since there is no activity beyond the currently water influenced endpoint of the road. However, residents have fear that the submerged oil wells of Ngasa 1 and Ngasa 2 could be putting their health in danger since they continue using that water for domestic use and consumption. But, Robert Kasande, the Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development had initially told Kazi-njema News that the submerging water could adversely affect neither people’ health nor the oil production process since the pads are concretized from the ground.
Back to the road, Mr. Irumba, the village Chairman’s worry is the likelihood of destruction beyond repair even if the water level reduced at the unknown time.
It is a 92 kilometers road affected and constructing a kilometer of its standard can a cost about 3.4 billion shillings computing its total cost of 320 billion Uganda shillings.
It was constructed by Kolin Construction Limited, a Turkish Company whose credibility was never doubted.
The road is 7 metres of carriage-way, 2 metres of shoulders, is also 39 cm thick of crashed stone and 12-15 cm of asphalt.
It was hoped to facilitate transportation of oil drilling and refinery machinery and equipment. It could also propel cross boarder business between Uganda and the Democratic of Congo (DRC) whose citizens have traditional business relationships.
The Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) says they are closely monitoring the growing impact on roads and mitigating wherever possible.
Hoima-Butyaba-Wanseko road construction under way is also highly threatened by floods in Buliisa Lower areas.
The Ministry of Water and Environment warns that the water level that hit the highest in history might continue rising until past April 2021 rains, advising Lakers to keep a distance.
The problem is evident on other water bodies in Uganda though some 0.3 metres reduction was recorded on Lake Victoria by November.
Perhaps because of the gradient, Lakes; Albert and Kyoga have only seen it rise.
Alongside hundreds of thousand going homeless, a lot of government infrastructure has been affected.
Butyaba Health Centre 4 in Buliisa district, Panyimur multi-billion fish market and Dei Market in Pakwach district are among the key government infrastructure edging to the point of no reverse on Lake Albert alone due to this natural disaster.
Kazi-njema Reporter analysis:
The situation on Lake Albert discredits the Environmental and Social Impact Assessments (ESIAs) made and approved ahead of government projects’ implementation. It means more research and technology is needed to avoid such loses that rest in the pockets of the tax payers.
Many more multi-billion dollar projects in the country might be in near time danger of breakdown due to natural disasters unforeseen by the line government authorities.