There was a sigh of relief among parents in Arua last evening after 84 students who were stranded in Kampala after the closure of schools and higher learning Institutions finally arrived home.
The students from Makerere University, Kyambogo University, Makerere University Business School, Uganda Christian University and other institutions were stranded in the bus parks since Monday, the day schools were closed by the government as one of the measures to contain the spread of COVID-19.
As part of the measures, the government announced that it was banning the movement of people across districts for at least 42 days. With the new measures, thousands of people rushed to leave the capital Kampala overwhelming taxi and bus parks, in order to beat the government deadline.
In the aftermath, Transporters hiked the rates threefold, and many of the travellers who could not afford the rates remained stuck in the Parks. They could not travel, yet they could not return to the institutions which had already released them and closed their gates.
Demos Pariyo, the President of Makerere University Lugbara Students Union told media that they opted to engage the West Nile Parliamentary caucus to secure transport from the government. He said the students were however excited to reach their homes after all hopes had faded.
Meanwhile, some of the students shared their experience of struggling to board the buses they had initially paid for.
Khalsum Abdu Fadimullah, the Secretary for Education and Health in Arua City Council and a member of the City COVID-19 Taskforce who received the students in Arua City asked them to go into self-isolation as a preventive measure against spreading the deadly disease to their families in case they have contracted it.
Reports indicate that there are still more students and other people from West Nile who are still waiting for transport to be evacuated from Kampala.