At least 260 students from Northern Uganda have been evacuated from Kampala City. The students were stranded due to the spike in public transport fares.
Transport fares skyrocketed on Monday morning a few hours after the president, Yoweri Museveni announced new COVID-19 measures to contain the surge of infections.
The new measures included the schools, closure of prayers houses and ban on inter-district travels for the next 42 days. However, the president gave a three days window to allow learners to return home before the ban on inter-district travel takes effect.
On Tuesday, well-wishers who include Gulu University, Ker Kwaro Acholi, the Acholi cultural institution and Guruguru Fraternity, a loose coalition of friends and business associates, dispatched six buses to rescue students trapped in Kampala following a spike in public transport fares.
Currently, public transport fares to Gulu City increased to 120,000 and 150,000 Shillings from 25,000 Shillings and 160,000 Shillings to Kitgum district as opposed to the 30,000 Shillings.
Stephen Odong Latek, the Gulu Resident District Commissioner says that the students were informed and assembled at the bus park from where they left for Gulu City on Tuesday night.
The students arrived in Gulu at the wee hours on Wednesday morning and again assembled at the Gulu district council hall.
Latek disclosed that the students who come from East Acholi districts later proceeded to their respective districts in the same buses while those from within East Acholi will then find their ways home.
Odong added that more buses will on Wednesday be dispatched back to Kampala City to evacuate some of the students who are believed to have remained and are currently assembled in Makerere University MDD Grounds.
Eddie Oujhara the President of Acholi Students Association said that the situation of the students is alarming as more of them were still gathering in Namayiba bus park and the Makerere University grounds awaiting evacuation to Gulu and their final destinations.
He added that they were still expecting more buses from the Acholi Parliamentary Group (APG) to help in the evacuation exercise before the ban on public transport elapses.
He asked the students to gather at Kyambogo University main gate in Banda, Makerere University MDD ground and Namayiba Bus Park for easy coordination.
Ambrose Olaa, the Prime Minister of Kwer Kwaro Acholi revealed that swift mobilization by the partners was a good gesture towards saving humanity and ensure the safety of students from the prevailing situation.