• Mon. May 23rd, 2022

Installation of Street Lights on Kampala-Entebbe Express Highway

UGANDA, Entebbe Real Muloodi NewsThe Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) will install street lights on the state-of-the-art Kampala-Entebbe express highway before the end of this year.

The announcement comes days after a vigilant lawyer and activist for social justice, Michael Aboneka, publicly petitioned the Ministry of Works and Transport demanding for street lights on the Kampala-Entebbe expressway and Kampala Northern Bypass.

Mr Aboneka says that the two highways are constantly engulfed in darkness, allowing criminals to do their dirty work. The dark state of the highway at night has caused insecurity to motorists and other road users.

In actuality, back in 2019 UNRA had pledged to install street lights, after two people were murdered in cold blood along the highway at Nambigirwa bridge in Mpala.

The Entebbe Expressway double shooting murders that took the lives of Joshua Nteyireho and Merina Tumukunde put UNRA on the spot for having no security lights on the highway.

The lack of lighting impaired investigations into the murders because the cameras are unable to film clear images in the dark.

However at the time of the incident, UNRA spokesperson Allan Ssempebwa said that street lighting was not part of the initial contract, and the Authority did not have enough money to light up the road from Busega – Mpala and Kajjansi to Munyonyo.

Mr Ssempebwa went on to say there was an ongoing procurement for operation and maintenance of the highway. “The contract will include installation of the tolling system and lighting up of the expressway,” he said.

Some three years later, tolling at the Kampala-Entebbe express highway has since been implemented. On January 8th 2022, General Katumba, minister for works and transport, was the first person to make payment. A fee in cash or use of UPESI cards is required when using the express highway.

This highway is also the first toll road in the country, and the services are up to standard. For example, using the towing, fire brigade, and ambulance services are free of charge, although one has to pay for their fuel.

Allan Ssempebwa announced in March that over 1000 lighting polls and lamps have already been procured, although they are pending tax clearance. He said that plans had been initiated to have the highways lit from Busega to Mpala.

He added that “the actual lighting will depend on how quickly we will light up the road, but we have given ourselves more time to install first.”

Egis Group, the construction engineering company contracted to perform the work, has started earmarking points where the polls will soon be erected. The contractor has been in charge of the street lighting, supply of toll and traffic equipment, operation, maintenance and toll collection on behalf of UNRA for five years.

Kampala-Entebbe expressway consists of 2×2 lanes of 26.2 kilometres, with three toll plazas at each entrance and 17 toll lanes.

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