Flash floods have cut off Moroto–Kotido road following three days of heavy rainfall. Rains pounded Moroto from Friday afternoon and went on for more than 72 hours causing R.Lopei to flood, affecting traffic flow from Kotido to Moroto towns.
On Sunday afternoon, the vehicles headed for Moroto from Kotido had to turn back as they couldn’t drive over the submerged Lopei bridge. Several passenger service vehicles going either way had to halt their journeys due to the impassable roads. Emmanuel Lojok, a radio presenter in Kotido was held up in Moroto town because of the floods.
He told URN on Sunday that he would wait until the road is passable.
“I should have gone back to Kotido yesterday but our road is cut off. I have to wait until its passable,” said Lojok on phone. Private vehicles are now using the longer route from Moroto to Soroti and then Soroti Amuria-Abim to Kotido road covering a total distance of 376 km (230 miles).
This is nearly three times longer than from Moroto-Kotido route, which is 111.1km (69 miles). It means drivers and passengers have to pay more than twice the normal cost of Shs 20,000 if they were to travel via Soroti. Passengers using the Kotido-Moroto route have to dig deep into their pockets as transport fares have been increased to Shs 45,000 from Shs 20,000.
Moses Ogosa, a passenger who travelled from Moroto town to Kotido via Soroti, says he had no option since he had to be at his duty station on Monday.
“I used the long route in order to report to office on Monday,” said Ogosa a security officer. Another passenger who only identified herself as Agnes, said it was a disturbing experience to go through Soroti from Moroto in order to get to Kotido.
Lopei bridge was constructed by Terrain Construction Company Limited. The project was completed in May this year and is still under the defects liability period. Patrick Agona, the Kotido station engineer, said he would visit the bridge later today on to assess the situation. He said he would notify the bridges department under Uganda National Roads Authority for action.