Residents in Kabarole District, specifically those from five remote villages in Karagura Sub-county, have undertaken the formidable task of constructing a 40-kilometer road. Their motivation? To finally gain improved access to healthcare services and various markets, a need that has been neglected for years.
The road aims to connect these villages with Nyakitokoli Health Centre II, set to be upgraded and commissioned as a health centre III. For far too long, patients have endured grueling journeys of over 40 kilometers to reach health facilities in Bukuku and Nyakitokoli, both situated in the lower-lying areas of the sub-county. These treacherous journeys often take around four hours and involve carrying patients on shoulders and stretchers.
Employing basic tools and communal effort, the residents have embarked on this ambitious project. Their hope is that once completed, the road will not only ease access to health facilities but also facilitate the transportation of their produce to various markets. This road will traverse five villages located in the challenging terrain of Karagura Sub-County: Kitaaka, Kaisamba, Bukukuru, Nyakitokoli A, and Nyakitokoli B.
These communities, overshadowed by the Rwenzori ranges and the Mt. Rwenzori National Park, have long been cut off from essential services such as water and power. Despite these challenges, the fertile soils in the area support the cultivation of various food crops, including potatoes, peas, bananas, beans, and coffee, on a large scale.
Gladesi Kabugho, the vice chairman of Nyakitokoli B Village, expressed the residents’ motivation for this endeavor, citing years of neglect and a lack of essential services. Pregnant mothers in the area often give birth at home due to the difficulties in accessing public health facilities. The community has committed to dedicating every Thursday to communal road construction, with each member contributing tools like hoes and spades.
Remarkably, residents willingly donated their land for the road construction. Sedrack Kinyerere, a resident, shared his reason for contributing land, emphasizing the road’s role in reducing transport costs. Many locals have been forced to sell their produce cheaply at the farm due to high transportation expenses.
Kahuzo Elkana, the Karagura Sub-county chairman, expressed gratitude to the people for their efforts in building the road, acknowledging the limited budget available for such projects. He mentioned that the International Fertiliser Development Centre (IFDC), a non-governmental organization, has provided machinery for sections of the road. Beatrice Nyangoma, the communication manager of IFDC, confirmed their partnership with Kabarole authorities in fueling tractors and addressing crucial areas like bridges to improve residents’ access to markets and health facilities.