Traffic and business came to a standstill today Wednesday following a heavy downpour in Kampala.
The most affected roads were John Babiiha road where road construction works are on-going and Kyaggwe road near Swaminarayan Temple. People with businesses along Kyaggwe road were forced to close after water entered their shops.
Business at Ham Shopping Grounds also came to a standstill as Nakivubo Channel overflowed and left the shops submerged in water. The floods flowing from Clock Tower to Nakivubo Channel submerged the road making it nearly impassable for pedestrians and small cars. Some people were forced to remove their shoes, fold their trousers and wade through the floodwaters.
Some men were seen charging Shs 1,000 to carry pedestrians who didn't want to wade through the water, on their backs. This isn't the first time Clock Tower is flooding. Various attempts have been made in vain to improve the drainage and ease the water flow.
Brian Bagala, an engineer in charge of drainage at Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) says the Clock Tower is bound to flood especially now that the area is excavated as works continue under the Kampala flyover project. He says as works proceed, some of the drainages in the area has been affected.
He, however, says the status will improve when the flyover project is concluded and the drainage in the area is worked upon. The Nakibubo Channel is the converging area for storm-water in the central business area.
Over 500 manholes are placed in the city leading storm-water into Nakivubo Channel. However, the channel is overwhelmed due to the grounding erection of buildings that have taken up the green spaces that could accommodate water.
In 2019, with funding from World Bank under the Kampala Institutional Infrastructure Development Project, KCCA contracted a consultant company, Nippon Engineering to study the channel and conduct an assessment, modelling and redesigning of the catchment area.
The consultant was supposed to conclude works by this month but Bagala says their activities were interrupted by COVID-19 lockdown and were hence granted more time until December 2020.