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Uganda -- Transport

Transportation infrastructure, which was badly damaged during the political turmoil and violence of the 1970s and early 1980s, continues to be in a state of disrepair. Most of Uganda's foreign trade passes through the transportation networks of Kenya and is dependent on Kenya's roads, rail, and the port of Mombasa. In an effort to reduce this dependency, Uganda has tried to expand its links through Tanzania. Part of this plan includes developing the use of ports on Lake Victoria.


Uganda has about 27,000 kilometers of roads, of which only 22% are paved. There have been recent major improvements to Uganda's road network. Major arteries have been resurfaced, but there are not enough funds for regular maintenance. There continues to be a shortage of vehicles and spare parts. There were more than 126,000 vehicles in 1996, up from 31,000 in 1987.


Like the road system, the rail system has also suffered from neglect and political instability. The rail system is from the colonial era and there are large sections of the 1,240 kilometers of track in desperate need of repair. The main line from Mombasa-Nairobi-Kampala is in operation but it is very slow. Passenger traffic between the two capitals was resumed in 1993. Because the rail system is in such disrepair, most of Uganda's freight transport is done by road. The government, in an attempt to reduce road freight, has begun to modernize the rail system but has found it difficult because there is a lack of donors.

Major repairs have been done to the Entebbe airport. Uganda has a national airline, the Ugandan Airlines Corporation, that operates four planes. There are no scheduled domestic flights.



Passenger traffic ('000 passenger-km)62,69634,86927,000

Goods traffic ('000 tons-km)119,134207,999163,300


Vehicle (number)53,04572,508126,214

Air (Entebbe)

Passengers ('000)166250350

Railways: total: 1,241 km narrow gauge: 1,241 km 1.000-m gauge note: a program to rehabilitate the railroad was underway in 1995

Highways: total: 27,000 km paved: 1,800 km unpaved: 25,200 km (of which about 4,800 km are all-weather roads) (1990 est.)

Waterways: Lake Victoria, Lake Albert, Lake Kyoga, Lake George, Lake Edward, Victoria Nile, Albert Nile

Ports and harbors: Entebbe, Jinja, Port Bell

Merchant marine: total: 3 roll-on/roll-off cargo ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 5,091 GRT/8,229 DWT (1997 est.)

Airports: 29 (1997 est.)

Airportswith paved runways: total: 5 over 3,047 m: 3 1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 under 914 m: 1 (1997 est.)

Airportswith unpaved runways: total: 24 2,438 to 3,047 m: 1 1,524 to 2,437 m: 7 914 to 1,523 m: 8 under 914 m: 8 (1997 est.)

Source: CIA World Fact Book.

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