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Choking through the potholes of Kampala

Oct 9 • 3299 views • 4 Comments on Choking through the potholes of Kampala Africa, Conservation, East Africa, Kampala, safari, Travel, Uganda

Traffic around Kampala is notorious and getting worse. It’s quite common to turn your engine off as you sit still for 10 minutes or more. Yesterday it took us an hour and a half to drive 3 kilometres / 2 miles, bumper to bumper, in and out of the potholes of the Industrial Area, choking on the black diesel fumes from lorries we disposed of in the West 30 years ago. A Nature Uganda speaker this week told us how air pollution is a major contributor to heart disease in places like Uganda: road pollution, burning rubbish (including plastics and batteries), cooking over a charcoal stove, kerosene lamps and more.

PHOTO: door to door salesman in Kampala last week.

I walked most of the journey home, covering my mouth with my T shirt when another filthy lorry chugged past me. Just what you need in a traffic jam: a heavy good lorry breaks down and tries a hill start on the slightest of inclines. As darkness fell I jumped on a boda boda for the last stretch of the journey home to wash off the grime.

PHOTO: Enormous craters along this road have given it the nickname ‘The Mountains of the Moon’ – a reference to the Rwenzori Mountains between Uganda and the DRC (Democratic Republic of the Congo). After the rains this 200 metre unnavigable stretch of road (even in a 4X4) becomes known as ‘Lake Bukoto.’

PHOTO: View from the back of a boda boda as we cross Jinja Road.

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4 Responses to Choking through the potholes of Kampala

  1. lizziema says:

    Looks oh so familiar. Remember trying to get into Kampala at the end of our epic 11 hour travel day back from the bush. Complete with freshly (5 seconds earlier) slaughtered cattle on the road. As you have said, the infrastructure needs tweaking!

  2. […] though: stalls just selling 4 tomatoes and a bunch of plantain, four people on a motorbike, enormous potholes and rubbish everywhere. My old colleagues at Laing Roads and the Waste team would have a field day […]

  3. […] Kampala to a post-apocalyptic city—like some scene from a sci-fi movie. The roads are paved but there are potholes everywhere. There exists what I term “half-buildings”, abandoned mid-construction, everywhere you turn. The […]

  4. […] white water rafting or just chilling at a lodge with a wonderful view. Heavy traffic, sometimes potholed roads and bad drivers are some of the downsides to life in Kampala. When it’s hot, tempers […]

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