Improving Kampala’s traffic infrastructure


(Posted 04th March 2015)

Reports coming in from Nairobi speak of a sizeable delegation from Kampala being hosted by Rift Valley Railways, including the KCCA Executive Director Jenifer Musisi, who had traveled to the Kenyan capital to study the impact of the public railways system now used for commuter transport.

Present at the meetings was Uganda’s long serving High Commissioner to Kenya, H.E. Mrs. Angelina Wapakhabulo who also enjoyed a guided tour of the Syokimau Station and subsequent presentation by RVR executives.

The Kampala Capital City Authority had invited RVR to operate commuter trains from as far as the new Namanve Industrial Estate into the heart of Kampala, where the railway station is located. Trial runs proved successful but additional stations may have to be constructed along the way via Nambole and Nakawa into the city to allow for safe boarding of passengers.

It is here that the Kenyan experience, where several stations have already been built or are under construction, will come in handy no doubt, sharing the experience and the challenges instead of re-inventing the proverbial wheels. Kampala’s road network, like Nairobi’s, is regularly congested and the constant increase in population and workers from more distant settlements of the greater metropolitan area flooding into the city have stretched vehicular transport to the limit.

Kampala’s plans to build a ring highway around the city have not really advanced beyond a half circle single lane in each direction, call the Northern Bypass while the projected Southern Bypass has failed to take off with the route initially looked at in the early 1990’s by World Bank consultants now largely built over by private houses and industrial developments. Unlike in Nairobi therefore, where massive investments in to public roads in and around Nairobi are slowly beginning to bear fruits, has Kampala a long way to go to decongest traffic, take transit traffic out of the city and add enough public transport capacity, by road and rail, to transport hundreds of thousands of people in and out of the city at affordable cost. Watch this space for regular updates on this topic.