To help fight traffic congestion in Kampala, the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has injected 63 billion into Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) to construct a traffic control centre.
Addressing the crowd, the Lord Mayor said that the sometimes nauseating challenge of traffic jams in Kampala can not be resolved by the rudimentary approach of deploying Traffic officers and wardens, but by systems improvements of infrastructure and deployment of technology.
He observed that 52 days in a year are lost in traffic jams with close to 10 persons for every 100,000 dying in road crashes in the City. Attributing this to poor road Infrastructure and indiscipline, further stated that the City has developed a Road safety strategic plan to reduce the fatalities by half by 2030.
Speaking in Luganda to the exclusion of the Japanese team including the Ambassador, he called on the government to increase funding for Infrastructure improvement in the City and stop relying solely on foreign grants for improvements to take place.
The KCCA Executive Director Dorothy Kisaka appreciated the Japanese government for the grant saying that it goes a long way in enabling KCCA to achieve its strategic plan of having a smart city by leveraging Technology to improve people’s well-being.
The Japanese Ambassador said that the teams handling the implementation of the project should work together and achieve the set timelines.
The project which is financed with UGX 63 Billion grant will be handled jointly by KCCA and Japan international cooperation agency(JICA), and it proposes the construction of a Traffic Control Centre Building at City hall, 27 Junction signalization in the CBD including the removal of 5 roundabouts (Rwenzori Court, Grand Imperial, Mulago, Kubiri) and installation of Control devices.
The JICA Chief Representative, Uchiyama Takayuki, noted that the project was well conceptualized and was first piloted and proved to be effective for Kampala City traffic management.
“As a driver, I’m happy to start this project to improve traffic flow in the city. Kampala traffic congestion is everyone’s concern,” Takayuki said.
The Traffic control centre is the first of its kind in the region according to Takayuki
“We are supporting similar projects in Kigali and Mombasa but they are still in their early stages. Kampala will be the model city for smart traffic control systems in the region,” Takayuki said.
Kauma Nsereko Rodgers, Kampala Metropolitan Traffic Police Commander said the project will help reduce road congestion and the bad behaviours of drivers.
“This is a leap in the right direction which will ease our work. This has to be supported with good road use behaviour and respecting traffic rules, road signs, and yellow boxes. We may not realize what we need to realize if we are indisciplined,” Nsereko said.
The Traffic Control Centre is a 3-storey building where the floors from the semi-basement to semi-ground become the parking and storage while the traffic control centre function is placed on the first and second floor.