Category Transport

Pioneer Buses are likely to be worse than UTODA

By age 5 in my rural Nkore, I already knew that a bus carries 74 people, thanks to the ‘bus song’ that we would sing every evening Wavamunno’s bus arrived from Mbarara, as we begged it to ‘… carry 74 and take us…’. Two decades later, after college and working in the industry, I discovered the ‘mystery’ of the 74: 62 seated passengers and 12 standing passengers. This is a standard large bus.

I have seen the Pioneer buses in the media. Going by their publicized carrying capacity of 31 seated and 30 standing passengers, one can safely conclude that we are into a worse UTODA era: congestion on the road and congestion in the bus. The carrying capacity of a bus is determined by its overall length and the desired sitting configuration. That this bus carries 31 seated passengers, translates into the following plausible sitting configuration:

1×1(1) =1

Total= 31

This simple arithmetic means that the bus has one row at the back with four seats; six rows of two columns, totaling 24 seats in the main cabin; one ‘half-row’ of two seats at the entrance( making provision for the door), and 1 jumper seat opposite the driver.

The permissible standing passenger formula is one passenger per row. Therefore this bus can carry a maximum of 6 standing passengers. Not 30. Not even standard large buses would carry 30 standing passengers, since they have a maximum of 12 rows. Transport Licensing Board, KCCA, beware. Equally to beware should be the travelling public and the Traffic Police. These buses cannot get Third Party insurance. No sensible insurer would cover a bus for excess passengers. Public Health officials should as well get concerned. Squeezing 30 standing, sweating people in a space meant for 6 is recipe for the spread of communicable diseases, in our already polluted Kampala. The Passengers Association should be vigilant, to ensure that these buses are not to carry 61 passengers.

KCCA, Transport Licencing Board, please advise Pioneer to simply fix pliable seats in the aisle, and forget about standing passengers. This will mean a 37-seater bus, back to our congestion. Had the powers that be been keen, instead of the 522 minibuses that Pioneer has imported, we would have 261 large buses, carrying 74 passengers, thus the easing of congestion. As it is now, we are into a double congestion: on the road and in the bus. Ndugu Odanke, please live to the values of the organisations you belong to, and market your buses as 37 seaters, not 61. Not all Ugandans are as ignorant as authorities assume.

And talking of congestion in the bus, KCCA, should immediately do the following with matatus, as it goes to rethink ‘buses’ phase two:

-number all the routes and allocate matatus to designated routes, to be respected
-compute and determine the fares within the city. Have the fares pasted inside each matatu. It is possible. Civil Aviation did it for the airport taxis.
-get all matatus to have PVC seats that are easily washable. Velvet seats do harbour and transmit vermin and diseases.
-get all drivers and conductors branded: uniforms and ID tags displayed

Next, KCCA should invest in a fumigation chamber for all PSV vehicles, including buses on all routes in the country. This is pressurised ‘spray race’, where the vehicle is enveloped for seconds and released, emerging purged of all vermin and germs. We needed this yesterday. It is possible, Madam Musisi. You need to live to ‘The 2,000 Musisis’ attribute. It is possible to lead a decent, dignified life in Kampala and Uganda.

Concerned Resident

Kajjansi Trading centre; what needs to be fixed

Buganda and Kampala Markets:Remodelling Kampala City Markets in Kampala Urban Area

Remodelling Kampala City Markets in Kampala Urban Area

I am stunned with Kampala City Council and political party hypocrisy and corruption. Imagine the amount of money taken from Kampala Market’s stall owners, and envisage the terrible physical state of disrepair the Market are into! Then they shout about corruption! KCC must be disbanded.

Why political parties with their development demagoguery, doesn’t allow the Criminal Investigation Department, the Inspector General of Government investigate where over 100 millions collected from the so-called park yard (Nakivubo stadium car park yard) and Owino goes?  See attachment Nakivubo! Nakivubo management and KCC rents out Nakivubo parking yard but the money had never been account for!

Nsambya, Nakawa, Natete, Busega all these markets pay duties, tolls, taxes you name it. When a stall owner for example builds a stall he or she pays a construction fee! Plus a monthly charge and then taxes to Uganda revenues authority through the so-called market contract owners.

What are these types of contractors and what service do they provide other than stealing people’s earthly riches to feed their greed for political power? They will pay dearly for this recklessness.

Redevelopment, Remodelling and redesigning of Kampala City Markets, is not such a complicated thing. Market vendors, all those I have personally talked to, are willing and have the financial clout, to redesign and model the markets to highest and best acceptable modern standards.

Market vendor’s only impediment, is lack of;

1. Physical Planning Capacity

2. Architecture and Construction Engineering Capacity, to remodel Markets.

3. Financial management capacity, which Commercial banks can provide.

Kampala City Markets, do not need an investors, or private managers (contractors), other than some form of government planning input, that the MINISTRY OF WORKS must provide. It will make Kampala City Markets become suitable, for all seasonal habitation, with proper sanitary, hygienic and efficient delivery of services, in an urbanised and compact city environment they are located into.

The Ministry of Works, Architectural and construction engineering works departments, (am willing to offer my expertise free of charge) must put their heads together and design suitable market for an urban environment considering the following:

a. Uganda’s tropic environment – in relation to fresh and dry foodstuffs sold in these markets.

b. Compact city environment with high-density population and traffic.

c. Storage facilities for fresh produce sold in Kampala City Markets i.e. perishable and high contaminable fresh foodstuffs like meat and fish.

d. Parking facilities in relation to human and motorised traffic.

e. Fire outbreak possibility and mitigation.

f. The surrounding social, built, commercial and physical environments.

g. With polished stones cleaning markets will be very cheaper and easy. There area lot of granite rocks between Luwero and Kigumba for that purpose.

So far, all Architectural models, from Kiseka, Owino, Nakawa and Nakasero markets, I have seen, are not properly designed, to suit the purpose they are planned for.

What and how should city markets be modelled?

1. Fresh food Markets, must have clearly demarcated departments i.e. those selling dry from fresh, highly contaminable (meat, fish) and creameries foodstuffs.

2. City markets must be spacious and well ventilated to offer 100% air circulation. It is therefore a necessity, to engage VVS engineer (building ventilation) and experts.

3. For dry items, 100% air circulation, prevents bacterial, fungi and mould attack on dried foots items – implying city markets must have modern dry storage facilities per items or commodities sold. E.g. rice, maize flour, groundnut, powered milk etc.

4. All Kampala City Markets must have cold storage facilities and refrigeration for fresh and highly contaminable foodstuffs.

5. Kampala City Markets, especially those selling fresh foodstuffs, must have 100 % water supply all day around, partly for floor, food item cleaning, washing and refreshing.

6. Since women, make the bulk of workers in city markets, it implies given to their biological needs (menstruation) access to 100% laundry and bathing facilities must be provided. Laundry facilities like washing, and hot air driers machines are provisions for instant cleaning, also medically required for butchers and fish sellers. These must be underground the markets, highly guided by civil engineering works and food safety regulations.

7. City markets, must provide Kindergarten for babies and small children to off load extract work, for mothers in markets. It provides total physical and psychological peace for mother working environments.

8. Provisions for enough parking space, around the markets is a must – motor traffic can be regulated with automated billing parking machines.

9. The markets underground offloading and loading facilities to ease traffic congestion. Off load and upload can be time regulated i.e. at low and high peak hours.

10.  All Kampala City Markets must be provided laboratory-testing facilities for fresh foodstuffs and medical facilities – as a highly educated urban population grows, so will fresh food demand and necessity for high hygienic standard provisions.

11. Kampala City Markets, must have self-automated pressurised biodegradable waste facilities. Implying City and town council must provide adequate waste disposal facilities all year around.

12. Those selling ice creams, milk and eatables should be isolated from fresh and dry food markets. Retail Shops within fresh food markets, selling consumable in the category of super markets should be outlawed on medical grounds, within the market parameters.

13. The same applies, to those selling old clothes and metals that should have separate departments far way from fresh food markets. Owino and Kiseka markets.

For Uganda Revenue Authority remittance, commercial banks should be enticed to work with market vendors. URA will provide automated calculating software for registration, enrolling, incomes and expenditures collection and monitoring membership of all Kampala City Markets.

Kampala City Markets must reduce population densities. E.g. more markets can be built to hold a population of not more than 500 vendors each. This is possible with clear demarcation of dry/ fresh food vending and mivumba/ metal sellers i.e. in Owino and Kiseka markets.

Kampala City Council must only play a monitoring and guiding roll.

With the help of PPDA act, Local government Act, Leadership code, the Land Act water and environmental laws, etc-, KCC should show cause, why have been unable to develop, redesign, model, upgrade a single part of Kampala, as so stipulated in the county and town planning act and Kampala development programme or the so called structure plan that expire in 2000.

The government, can therefore, use the above laws to take over KCC. Allow the department of architecture and civil works engineering in the ministry works, start redesigning the city with immediate effect. The design can be given to respective vendors to look for money and develop or build new markets themselves.

The department of architecture and civil works engineering, in the ministry works can on a daily basis, for only a period of six month plan the entire Kampala City Markets. With the help of official community planning principal, where markets vendors, through their local councils will take on the roll of approving all planning projects, without KCC official input. That way you don’t contravene the Local government act.

I can help design, a full proof programme, that will completely do away with corruption in councils and streamline development of towns and cities, where no land could be stolen and misused.

Bwanika , Nakyesawa Luwero.

Daniel Bwanika

Museveni has done some things for Uganda despite his errors in leadership

Dear Ugandans at heart
That is the folly done by the opposition today. They do not give credit where it is due and think that the population is not watching. Yes, some roads were built in the early sixities, but not all major roads. If all major roads were constructed in the 60s, why did Mityana-Mubende-Fortportal only get tarmac under the NRM regime? Why did Karuma-Arua (over300kms) only get tarmacked under the NRM regime? Why did Busunju-Kiboga-Hoima (230kms) only get tarmacked under the NRM regime? Why did Mbarara-Ntungamo-Rukungiri only get tarmacked under the NRM regime? Why did Mbale-Tirinyi only get tarmacked under the NRM regime? Why did Kafu-Masindi only get tarmacked recently? and the question arises-which major roads were tarmacked before NRM came to power apart from the eastern route to Kenya and Tororo? Tarmac is now going up to the UG/Sudan border, Mbale-Sironko-Kapchorwa is also tarmac, Fortportal-Bundibugyo is being worked on, Gayaza-Zirobwe, Gayaza-Kalagi, Matugga-Semuto-Kapeeka are all being tarmacked. I think this poor roads thing is over hyped big time as if people are not watching! And overall, even the opposition should admit, highways are in a good condition, far better than NRM found them in 1986. The only bad roads are surprisingly in the urban areas.I am sure about my statistics, the area where you branch off the Mbale-Soroti road to Sironko, through Sironko town onwards to Kapchorwa was tarmacked between 1998 and 2000.

I did not mention the roads that were re-tarmacked soon after NRM came to power, but i think i should. Almost all roads, apart from Mbale-Soroti, Iganga-Kaliro and Jinja-Kamuli were resurfaced as soon as NRM came to power. Here i am talking about Kampala-Luwero-Karuma, Kampala-Masaka-Mbarara, Kampala-Jinja-Bugiri up to the borders, Kampala-Mityana and Kampala-Busunju and nearly those were the only tarmacked roads around-the ones that you people hype about.
I did not even tell you that even in Kampala here, tarmac was only in the city center and Kololo. Note that roads like Lugogo bypass, Mulago by-pass, Kitante road (was a potholed one way) Makerere, all those roads around Lubiri, Entebbe-Namasuba (was one way) Kampala-Bukoto-Nitnda-tarmac stopped at Kira road police station did not have tarmac! If you doubt, i will give you more examples.
They argue that tarmacking does not tatamount to constructing a road, i say they are wrong. At the moment for example, it costs sh15m to maintain a km of murram roads, however it costs sh800m to tarmac the same km. So note the difference.

Then the opposition talks about the major schools that have collapsed, and you wonder. Did students in secondary and University have better choices in the 60s and 70s than they have today? Is there a general lack of quality schools for students today? The answer is no. The NRM policy of liberalizing education has encouraged private investors to construct as many schools as possible and most of them are quality. When NRM came to power in 1986, the distance a child walked to the nearest primary school was 5kms in urban areas and 15kms in rural areas. It has reduced to just 1km in urban areas and 5kms in rural areas. There is a good spread of Universities too. For example, a university student in Gulu applies to study at Gulu University, a university student in Tororo applies to study at Busitema University, a University student in the west applies to study at Mbarara University and i am not mentioning the tens of private universities accross the country.

About schools, i will give you an example of Kisaasi were i live. The nearest secondary schools at the time were Kololo SSS and Kololo High. If one wanted, you could walk to Kawempe 10kms away also. Today, there are six top secondary schools in Kisaasi surburb alone. There are also seven top Primary schools, against 1 in 1986! what do you call that???????

The opposition have talked about how in the 70s, students at all levels were more enlightened (literally) than today. The juror is still out on that one. However, i may argue that during those days, a village did not have so many children going to school. In that case, it was difficult to draw comparisons. As early as the 80s, getting a Degree was a very big occassion in the village! Today, that has been demysfied because many people are going to school. In Mid Februrary, Kyambogo graduated and my zone in Kisaasi alone had 7 graduation parties!
The opposition have also said that government does not know what it is doing by closing UTCs and NTCs. However, what they are forgetting is that NTCs were started (they were 10) in the mid 80s to cater for two problems, one was to reduce the deficit of teachers in the country while the other was to take care of the thousands of A-level leavers who were not joining University. Remember there was only one University (Makerere) that admitted less than 2,000 students every year. Joining it was like drinking Nvinyo on the same table with God…..
However, after the opening up of more universities, many of these institutions became irrelevant. The over 30 universities in the country today can accommodate many of the students who used to do Diplomas and certificates for degree courses. These universities now pass out graduate teachers instead of Grade V (Diploma holders) .But also note that these institutions were not closed but up graded. For example, ITEK Kyambogo became a University, Busitema became a University, Masaka Technical College became a University, NTC Mubende is now a study center for Nkozi University, Unyama is also a study center for Nkozi University.
Joshua Kato
Newvision Journalist
UAH forumist

Tragic end of Paul Sebuliba 82, a World War II Veteran

Friday, February 5 2010, World War II Veteran Paul Sebuliba 82 years was knocked down by a boda boda cyclist who was carrying  fish just at the Uganda Clays narrow bridge at Kajjansi Trading centre.  The cyclist who was coming from Entebbe side knocked mzee Sebuliba from the back and broke his leg in the knee.  It is said that the accident occurred at around 11.00am.  Sebuliba had just been with Nsaale who had helped him ring some gentleman in Kampala alleged to be responsible for allocating land to World War II Veterans.  It is alleged that on ringing the man concerned, Sebuliba was given a go ahead to go and meet the said man in Kampala.  As he walked towards where Kajjansi taxi’s park, just around the Uganda Clays’ Bridge, he was knocked down.  It is said that the fish which was being carried got stolen by the people as the owner run away.

Sebuliba was later put on a Patrol vehicle which took him to Mulago Casualty.  It is said that he had been talking and he breathed his last at the Casualty before he got attended to, but had been registered.  It is alleged that the mzee died due to bleeding.  Relatives say that while at the Casualty Sebuliba was asked how much money he had and he said shs 2,000, and he did not get attention till death.  It is not clear how true this allegation is.

The relatives on learning about the accident got to search for Sebuliba, but could not trace him.  He had been registered in Casualty Ward but they failed to locate the Ward he had been taken to.  After failing to trace the man it is said these people went back to Casualty where they learnt that two people had died from Casualty; and Sebuliba was one of the dead.

The story of Sebuliba is what many other people go through in this country and up to their death; they are desperately following up to get what is due to them which a good number die before getting.  It is not clear why Government is not transparent about the dues to the World War II Veterans.  It can be remembered that when Uganda hosted CHOGM, some veterans asked the organizers for an opportunity to meet the Queen; and I think they were not accorded the opportunity.

Secondly, we have the notorious killer boda boda’s.  These have remained the cheapest means of transport or at least they are convenient to those who need the service and very flexible.  However, even from the operations mounted by the Police, the truth is that many people have lost lives due to accidents involving boda’s while others have been deformed or maimed.

There are also killer spots on our roads; and Kajjansi Uganda Clays Bridge seems to be among the potential killer spots given that it is narrow.  It is not clear why the Ministry of Works has not widened this stretch of the road, hence exposing users to great danger.  People on foot and the cyclists are in real danger at this spot.

Finally, as long as the NRM Government pays lip service to the welfare of the medical practitioners, you can be sure, none of us is safe.  Many times when one gets an accident, it is 3rd party who have to care for him before the relatives get to know, however, given the medical workers’ situation, all of us can be victim of neglect.  With better services, chances are that Sebuliba would be alive.

Willy Kituuka

Northern By-pass opens

Attention: 4 bullets in this post.

  1. Now that Kampala’s northern by-pass road is open to the public, done well or shoddily, it is welcome. Attention should now be focused on the ‘southern by-pass’ conceived almost at the same time as the completed one, as evidenced in the “Kampala Master Plan” by the 1971 coup d’état.
  2. The concept of the “Southern by-pass” was to link the two trunks/arteries: Kampala-Jinja and Kampala-Masaka roads via Luzira, Bunga-Kawuku, Konge, Kajansi, etc. The novelty with its design is/was that the Luzira-Kawuku portion was supposed to be an environmentally-friendly ‘flyover’ that should leave the swamp between and the confluence of the Kampala drainage channels un-affected.
  3. Once completed, the two ‘by-passes’ would give Kampala, like most cities the world over, an outer ring road.
  4. Mother of all questions: is our government, at last, able to handle that, in addition to the vital and now much talked of ‘fly-overs’ over parts of metropolitan Kampala? Would an underground Metro-train network probably be a better alternative? Let’s pray for a miracle.

Christopher Muwanga,

Nakasero, Kampala,

How to find out who owns EBB airport

Entebbe International airport was sold but Ugandans dont know the owner

Ugandans at heart,

Change of ownership or management of an international airport, like Entebbe, must be reported to the International Civil Aviation Organization, ICAO, a UN body, within 2 weeks after the change takes effect.
Uganda, as a signatory to ICAO, is mandated to do just that. So, you can check with ICAO to find out who owns or manages EBB. If Sam Kuteesa or any individual owns or is running the airport through a proxy, that third company must be listed, and its major shareholders identified in an accompanying filing with the ICAO.
The ICAO won’t divulge the directors’ names, but will tell you the controlling company. So, it’s not that hard to find out who owns or runs EBB.
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