Almost on cue, when it rains Kampala roads become a parking lot. And this is everywhere. Every route.
It gets worse when it comes to ‘panyas.’ We tend to follow drivers that seem like they know the best routes to dodge traffic jam and we all get stuck in those routes.
It used to beat my understanding. It didn’t make sense why the roads were so jammed every time it rained. Then, I realized something;
When it rains, despite what time it is, everyone ‘goes home early’ that day. Even if it rained early in the morning. The assumption is, “I better leave early before this rain traps me in town.” Or “I better leave early before traffic jam traps me in town.” WRONG!
That’s what everybody else is also thinking. It is one of the few times Ugandans without intent, all agree on something. And the very reason why it takes you hours to get home on such days.
Everyone leaves work with in the same time frame and thousands of cars, Bodabodas, buses, taxis and even trucks, all hit the roads at the same time. As a result, you all have nowhere to go. Our narrow roads cannot accommodate everyone at the same time. The motorists overwhelm our transport infrastructure leading to a nightmare of congestion.
You’ll have more than adequate time to reflect on your life. And by the time you get home, you’d have decided on some much needed changes in your life. This is where good music or podcasts come in handy.
Literally, the traffic jam frustrates so much, one ends up meditating. It’s because of traffic jam like this that Jennifer Musisi can’t ever ban Bodabodas. They are the only solution for people that feel, it’s urgent, they must get home quickly. Or to a meeting, a date and to anything else they have to do quickly.
It gets worse that some routes flood. The thousands of cars that use that route have to now squeeze for access on alternative routes. Alternative routes that also have thousands of cars and in the end, no one goes home.
I have noticed on days where it rains, if you are patient, you’ll go home a little late but it’ll be the quickest ride of your week. Therefore next time, just wait it out.
Author: Ian Paul Byamugisha
Ian Paul Byamugisha is a writer/author/novelist and car journalist. As a writer for Newslibre, he writes car reviews, cars news, tech news and anything that one might find interesting to read. Currently working on a spy novel collection titled “Arthur Vintage.”