BENI —Uganda’s Minister of Works and Transport, Gen Katumba Wamala, has sounded an early warning to Dott Services Limited, the company which is going to construct roads in Eastern DRC to be mindful of project specifications and timelines.
Gen Katumba spoke to journalists in the city of Goma on Friday after handing over two sites to Dott with his DRc counterpart Hon Alext Gisara Muvunyi.
“I would like to call upon the Contractor and Consultant to be mindful of the project specifications and timelines and ensure adherence to the requirements of our two Governments,” Gen. Katumba said
He explained that the project roads are part of the strategic infrastructure projects, including the construction and upgrading of 1,182km of main roads network connecting the two Countries, to be implemented by the two Countries in the short to medium term.
During the Quadripartite Summit held on 21 February, 2020 at Katuna in Uganda, under the Luanda process, the two Heads of State of DRC and Uganda reaffirmed their commitment to the joint construction or upgrading of the roads network connecting them and agreed on the immediate joint implementation of a project covering the Mpondwe/Kasindi – Beni road (80km), Bunagana – Rutshuru – Goma Road (89km) and the Beni – Butembo (54km), which were designated as priority roads.
During the hand over, Gen Katumba appealed to Congolese residents to support the construction.
“Do not to steal the roads equipment. Do not touch the fuel and other essentials. This opportunity has come to you to benefit from it in a meaningful way. Please give all the support to the contract and work with them to ensure that the project succeeds,” he said.
DRC government has officially handed over crucial sites to Dott Services Limited, paving the way for the start of the long – awaited construction of the 223 Kilometer road network that will open the Eastern part of the country to cross border trade with Uganda.
The project is branded as the Regional Connectivity Roads Project, also known as ‘DRC Roads Project.’
The handover ceremony took place in two DRC cities of Beni and Goma in the North Kivu Province on Friday, December 4th 2021.
The two ceremonies were witnessed by two delegations from Uganda and DRC, plus the Dott Services Limited leadership, a Ugandan construction firm which won the tender to build the roads.
The handover of the sites came on the heels of a visit to the company’s Inland Custom Deports (ICD) at Namanve Industrial Park in Uganda on Wednesday last week by the steering committee of nine members composed of technical officials from DRC, Uganda and Dott which was set up to fast track the road construction project.
Following the visit, the committee was satisfied that the company was ready for the job following its display of relevant equipment and technical capacity.
DRC Minister for Infrastructure and Public Works, Hon Muvunyi revealed that the project would boast trade between the two countries and promised the population that the construction will bring jobs and interconnectedness with Uganda.
The North Kivu Governor Lieutenant General Ndima Kongba Constant asked the Congolese to back the project:
“When the contractor is hungry, give him food. When he is thirsty, give him water, when he needs a room, and give him a bed to sleep on. This is because they have come to not only to build roads but also to improve our livelihoods employ you,” he said.
The leaders observed that the trade between the countries is going to grow since transportation of goods between the two countries has been hampered by poor infrastructure in the past.
“I urge the children of Goma, Beni, Kasindi and Nyiragongo to warm the project and grant it peace and tranquility,” Gen Ndima appealed.
On their part, Dott Services Limited promised to move road equipment to DRC this week in order to commence road works. So far, Dott Services Limited have assembled 40 trucks, 22 rollers, 22 graders, and 22 excavators and 20 fabricated containers to cover office space and residences for the company staff. The company has additionally promised t move this equipment to the designated sites in DRC this week.