Have you ever wondered as you bounced along over potholes (or cruised on a smooth road) who is to blame (or praise) for the state of your roads? Although we all tend to think of one body as responsible for all roads, it is interesting to learn that there are different types of roads which are the responsibility of different government bodies. If you are not satisfied with your road network it is therefore important to know who is responsible for it and how to deal with the situation.
Therefore we present you with the types of roads in Uganda and who is responsible for their development and maintenance:
THE ROADS ACT
The Roads Act is the law which provides for road reserves and maintenance of roads in the country. It operates with respect to the Uganda National Roads Authority Act which created UNRA.
This law defines a road as “any way open to the public for the circulation of vehicles which is maintained by the Government or an administration.”
WHO ARE THE ROADS AUTHORITIES?
According to the Law, there are several
1. The Government of Uganda (Uganda National Roads Authority)
2. The Minister
3. The District Administration.
The different authorities have got their own duties which are complementary to each other as you will see.
THE MINISTER (responsible for roads)
Has the duty of declaring a road reserve- that is, an area of land which should be preserved because a road is going to be built on it. The Minister can also determine in which line buildings should be built in a town or area.
The Minister also has the power to give directions to UNRA with respect to the policy UNRA is supposed to observe and implement.
UGANDA NATIONAL ROADS AUTHORITY (The Government)
This authority was created in the 2006 UNRA Act and takes over responsibility for the Government in regards to roads
The authority has got the overall duty to facilitate the delivery of roads services.
The authority is in charge of managing and maintaining the national roads network which is the system of roads maintained by the Government among other things.
This means, that the roads the Authority primarily deals with/ works on are the national roads (highways) for example the Kampala-jinja road, but it does not ordinarily work on the district/ city roads for example the road from old kiira road in Bukoto.
This authority has got the duty to construct, repair and maintain the roads within its which are not under the responsibility of Government. As you will see, the roads which are primarily the responsibility of the Government are the highways (main roads) and other roads which are declared the responsibility of the government.
Therefore, most of the panyas in your area and other dirt roads are the responsibility of the district administration.
The district commissioner may, determine the line in which buildings are to be erected in a town or area but only where the Minister gives consent for it.
If you are not satisfied with the quality of your road or any other road, please identify the authority responsible for it and then proceed, if you wish to complain, to file your complaint in the appropriate manner to the correct authority.
BY THE WAY
As you can see, there is no provision that mentions your MP building a road or maintaining it, so if you voted someone into Parliament based on their promise to bring you a tarmacked- you may need to consult them on how they will do this.