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Govt constructs 7 major roads in 2 years, driving permits to be processed in one hour

Works minister Azuba Ntege at UNRA offices in Kyambogo, where she presented updates on her ministry’s achievements.

Within the first two years since being elected into power to serve the 5th term, the NRM Government has completed constructing seven major roads out of the 14, totaling to 1,045km, the Uganda National Road Authority (UNRA) wants to complete before 2021.

This was revealed by the Works minister Monica Azuba Ntege, while addressing journalists, reviewing the performance of her ministry to mark the NRM party Manifesto Week at UNRA headquarters, in Kyambogo.

MS Azuba said the seven road projects include Atiake- Nimule, Ishaka- Kagamba, Moroto-Nakapiripirit and Nyakabande-Mutolere. Others are Nyakabande-Muganzi, Kazo-Ibanda, Vurra-Oraba.

In this financial year, Azuba said UNRA is upgrading 22 road projects covering a total length of 1,420Km.

There is also on going upgrading of 2,025km of gravel roads to tarmac.

In the next financial year, government plans to upgrade Tirinyi-Pallisa road, Muyembe-Nakapiripirit, Masaka-Bukakata and Kapchorwa-Suam road.

Azuba explained that the upgrading includes strategic roads to support exploitation of minerals, oil and gas, as well as, tourism activities.

Within the first two years, the minister also said government is constructing Expressways within the Greater Kampala Metropolitan Area to reduce traffic congestion and ease movement of transit traffic through greater Kampala.

Flanked by officials from UNRA, Civil Aviation Authority, Uganda Railways Corporation and Uganda Roads Fund, Azuba explained that the road transport is the dominant mode of transport used in Uganda carrying over 95% of the total traffic.

“The other modes of transport (air, rail and inland water) share the remaining 5% of the total traffic. This is why it’s important to develop other modes so that we don’t destroy the roads,” she noted.

Procuring 1,151 road equipment

Government, Azuba said recently procured additional 1,151 road equipment from Japan, to enable the districts to carry out effective road maintenance.

Pricing of roads
Speaking at the same function, Allen Kagina, the executive director UNRA said pricing of roads depend many things which include its design.
“The cheaper the design, it means the road will be cheap. And it cant be used for 100 years,” she explained.
Kagina also explained that some road projects delay to kick off because of the country’s tenure land system.

“You have to compensate people. The compensation is done after Government Valuer has approved the value of the land .But also sometimes the owners of the land challenge the valuer’s recommendations,” she said.

Responding to it, Azuba suggested that land would have been owned by government as is the case in some countries.

Kagina was also asked to explain why Kabale –Kisoro road collapsed. She said the road was constructed well but heavy rains led to its collapse.

“But we are working hard to repair it and soon it will be reopened,” she added.

One hour to process permit
Azuba revealed that soon it will take motorists one hour to process the driving permit. Currently the maximum period to process the permit is seven days.
The ministry, Azuba said, introduced a single card solution for driving permits to minimize forgeries. “The system comes with enhanced security features that meet ISO standards,” she explained.

Six bridges constructed

Commenting on the road works, Willis Bashaasha , the director of the Manifesto Implementation Unit in the office of the President also said six bridges have been completed within two years.
Bashaasha added that Wanseko-Panamuru ,Zengedi-Namasali and MV Kyoga ferries have been commissioned.

Bashaasha cited major challenges like limited resources, acquisition of land for investments as hinderance to the effective implementation of the manifesto.

But he quickly said they have so far achieved 38 percent success in the last two years.

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