Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Getting about in the rainy season

These are some of Soraya's pictures from last year when she was living in Mushubi and was effectively cut off from the rest of us for days at a time because of the state of the roads.

As I'm writing this blog I'm pinned down in my office because it's been raining all morning. I'm supposed to be going out to Cyeza school along around six miles of earth roads, but I already know the route will be virtually impassible, especially on the hills.

This is an earth road on a dry day. Rutted, bumpy, dusty - but at least you can get about. This is about as good as it gets with earth roads.

The slightest rainfall causes the surface of the earth roads to break up. Any vehicle - lorry, car, moto, even pushbike - ploughs ruts into the earth which rapidly takes on the consistency of porridge. It may not look too bad in this photo, but when the roads are like this the only realistic course of action is to stay put and wait for the weather to dry up.

Today it's been raining steadily since eight o'clock. This is what the earth roads will have turned into. By the time you have slogged a mile through this mud you feel tired. Now just imagine you have to go the fifty odd kilometres up to the far north of Muhanga District. Many of the poorest villages will be walking barefoot through this stuff with heavy loads on their heads, or trying to push bicycles laden down with enormous sacks of goods through the mud. It makes you realise just how much we take paved roads for granted back in England.

No comments: