Prices of construction materials have gone up in Luweero district causing anxiety among builders and residents. Affected items include sand, stones, murram and bricks among others.
The cost of an elf truck of plaster sand is now sold at 50,000 Shillings, up from 40,000 Shillings while a forward truck trip has also increased from 80,000 Shillings to 100,000 Shillings. Similarly, the price of sand for floor works has increased from 45,000 to 60,000 Shillings per Elf truck and from 85000 to 120,000 Shillings per Forwarding truck.
Hardcore stones are now sold at 200,000 Shillings, an increment of 50,000 Shillings per Forward-truck and 100,000 from 90,000 Shillings per Elf truck. A trip of bricks on an Elf truck now costs 150,000 Shillings from 130,000 Shillings. A Forward truck trip is now sold at 300,000 from 260,000 Shillings.
Isma Jjemba, the Chairperson of Truck Drivers at Kasana Stage explains that the increment was triggered by the rise in fuel prices, as well as taxes levied on fuel, Motor vehicles and spare parts. He adds that the cost shoots further up depending on the destination of the buyer.
A litre of Petrol is now sold between 3900 and 4250 shillings at fuel stations across the region. Diesel is sold between 3600 and 3750 Shillings.
Other truck drivers said they had no alternative but to increase prices to stay in business. They also decried of high truck breakdowns over the poor state of roads. The drivers also called for a review of taxes on mobile money services saying that these will most likely push up the cost of other goods.
Dan Kyobe a director of Delaware Uganda Limited says that the increment has greatly affected ongoing construction contracts. Kyobe says that in near future, construction firms will need a clause that allows them to adjust the cost of construction based on inflation.
Bob Mukwaya, a resident of Luweero town says that construction may only remain a preserve of the rich leading to housing crisis and slums in towns due to high prices of construction materials.
The increase in fuel prices remains to be explained. However financial analysts have pointed to the depreciating Shilling against major foreign currencies. The U.S Dollar has in recent weeks been on an upward spiral against the Uganda Shilling, trading at 3900 Shillings.
Finance Minister Matia Kasaija recently announced a one-shilling duty on each litre of fuel for this financial year.