BUSIA – Lands, Housing and Urban Development minister Judith Nabakooba has commissioned works for the construction of a 2km road in Busia Town under the Uganda Support to Municipal Infrastructure Development (USMID) program.
Nabakooba who was received in the area by Busia Municipality Legislator Geofrey Macho, the RDC and local leaders at the ground breaking described the area as an important local government to Uganda’s social and economic life.
The construction of the road is expected to cost Shs 9bn lasting a period of two years. The minister asked the contractor, M/S. Dott Services Ltd and the supervising consultants to use these funds to deliver the highest quality of work within the stipulated time.
“USMID program is based on the need to uplift Municipalities through improved urban infrastructure. It is a very competitive program which every urban centre in the country wishes to be part of,” Nabakooba said while congratulating Busia, the newest entrant into USMID Program on the milestone.
She further tasked the contractors to establish a good working relationship with the local leaders to ensure a smooth flow of work under their stewardship.
“Contractors, work with the leaders, engage them from the beginning to the end, you will have a successful project. We involve leaders for ownership and acceptance of these projects because if you begin clashing, the complaints will even reach the biggest office in this country,” she said.
Nabakooba tipped the Busia leaders on some of the prerequisites of achieving a city status saying they ought to begin plans right away. She tasked them to start by striving to change the face of Busia town.
“Follow the building regulations if you want to be a city in future. That is the only way you will make Busia Municipal Council grow, become attractive and become a better face for Uganda when foreigners come in through the borders.”
She added: “The project (USMID) has also introduced Municipal Development Forums (MDFs) which have a number of stakeholders. Let us have functional forums for feedback to be collected to enable us to plan better and get the desired results from the project.”
Mr Sadik Egale Amin, the Mayor Busia Municipality asked the minister to extend his appreciation to President Museveni for funding various projects in Busia like the Busia Market, the value addition facility and the completion of Busia-Musiita road which have brought about development in the area.
He said that his council is ready to support all government projects since they benefit all people.
“I thank the government for the rehabilitation of our roads through USMID funding. Busia town being a border town accommodates so many trucks which damage the roads. I make a special appeal to the government to give us more funding to upgrade more roads and carry out regular maintenance on the existing ones.”
Busia District LC 5 chairman shared that the developments coming to the area are evidence enough that it is soon gaining the border city status. He implored the contractors to give jobs to the locals and pay them well saying it is one way they will curb poverty.
“When it comes to supplies like stones, sand, kindly buy from our people to contribute to their well-fare. Let them benefit from this project too.”
Minister Nabakooba also made a stopover at Busia Secondary School to solve the looming land wrangles between the school and the community.
Here, according to the Municipality Legislator Geofrey Macho, close to 500 families risk eviction from the land being claimed by the school.
He said these locals have been occupying the land for the last 21 years but do not have their land titles.
Hon Betty Kamya had been in the area over the same matter in May 2020 and had written her recommendations. Nabakooba believes that there was laxity in implementing the Minister’s directives because they were clear.
“My coming here today was to give instructions to the RDC and his team to make sure that the decisions that were taken last year are going to be implemented to the dot. We want co-existence, harmony and peace. We don’t want people to be witch hunted all the time. If there are conflicts between the school and the community then we shall definitely get more insecurity which is not healthy for us as government,” she said.
She directed for boundaries of the land to be reopened and the title of Busia Secondary School to be cut off from the main title.
“The rest of the land which is being occupied by the people we can find ways of regularising their occupancy on their bibanja. I want this done in two weeks without any delay, Mr RDC.”