BULAMBULI – President Yoweri Tibuhaburwa Museveni on Thursday, November 26 flagged off construction of a multi-billion road works- Muyembe-Nakapiripirit road.
The development comes barely one month after a PML Daily story highlighted the plight of taxi drivers plying the Muyembe-Nakapiripirit road.
The president who is also the NRM presidential candidate said that in planning, the NRM government considers priorities and that this explains why the government invested in infrastructural development to transform the country.
According to UNRA, the road which starts at Muyembe [Bulambuli district] at the end of the tarmac road from Mbale is meant to connect to the Nakapiripirit-Moroto road which is already paved.
The construction works is funded through a loan from the Islamic Development Bank to a tune of sh399.9bn kicked off in March this year, is expected to take three years up to 30 March, 2023 is already relieving transporters in this area.
The construction works were given to a Turkish construction firm, Polat Yol Yapi, which signed the contract with the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) in November 2019 to tarmac the 92.2km route of Muyembe to Nakapiripirit.
Speaking to the NRM leaders of Sironko and Bulambuli at Masaba SS in Sironko, the president Museveni who was concluding his campaign trail of Bugisu sub-region cautioned the people on the dangers of sectarianism saying it has caused Uganda before 1986 a lot of problems.
“We had a lot of problems because of tribal conflicts in Uganda and Africa at large. During colonial time, we had some peace but it was not total. The situation was like that until 1986 when we took over power and by then we had got 9 governments in 25 years,” Museveni said.
The President said the government will put more funds in programs like Emyooga, Operation Wealth Creation and youth fund to help people create incomes and urged people to work for their pockets and stomachs.
He explained that the Muyembe-Nakapiripirit road project will contribute towards improving road transportation and trade facilitation along the Uganda-Kenya-Southern Sudan border adding that it would improve transport services and asked people to utlise the road for productivity.
According to UNRA engineer Mr Titus Aleper [Project manager] the road will assist in the administrative and social coverage in the region, reduce vehicle operating costs and improve social services and opportunities.
He explained that the existing road will be upgraded to class II standard paved road consisting of a certain carriageway with a width of 7.0M and a shoulder width general of 2.0M and that the carriageway and shoulder will both have asphalt concrete.
Eng Aleper said the contract was won by Polat Yol Yapi, a Turkish company that is located in Naguru and that works are being supervised by Scet Tunisie in joint venture with MBW consulting Ltd.
“This was an official function to flag off the construction but of course the Turkish construction firm, Polat Yol Yapi had already commenced the works,” said Eng Aleper.
Eng Aleper said the contract awarded to Polat Yol, a Turkish construction firm was the Civil Works for the Upgrading of 92km Muyembe – Nakapiripirit Road and 25km Secondary Link Roads.
Mr Pius Bagaza, a local representative of the company said although this was Polat Yol Yapi’s first contract in eastern Africa, the company has a global presence having executed similar contracts in the Middle East, Southern Africa and North America.
“And we are using Uganda as an entry point into Africa, we have done roads across with no faults and this one is going to construct one of the best roads in Africa,” said Mr Bagaza.
Ms Allen Kagina, the executive director at UNRA urged the local people to exploit the road to improve service delivery and incomes in their homes, “don’t just be spectators in the fight against household poverty, let us all get involved,”
Reactions from locals
Mr Simon Wananzofu, the LCV chairman for Bulambuli, thanked the government for flagging off the construction of the road.
He said even as main works on the all-important 92.2KM Muyembe-Nakapiripirit will make the road motor able because bridges have been made and that trucks loaded with food harvested in farms in the region are already using it to access markets..
Mr Ronald Mataya, a resident of Bulambuli and youth councilor said Transport in Karamoja sub-region, which serves a large portion of the Eastern Uganda population, is all set for a major boost, “thanks to a major road project, thanks NRM”.
Mr Paul Kimamati, the NRM chair person said although the works on the road have commenced “the road from Nakapiripirit to Amudat has become impassable”.
During his Bugisu leg of the campaign trail, Museveni opened a 50-megawatt mobile power station at the Sino-Mbale Industrial Park and officiated at the groundbreaking ceremony for the upgrade of the 92 km Muyembe-Nakapiripirit road to link Uganda to Kenya, South Sudan and Ethiopia on top of scientific meetings with youths and other NRM Party leaders in the sub-region.