KWEEN – The government of Uganda is considering tarmacking more roads to connect the country to all borders in order to increase revenue and stir growth in the country, the minister of works and Transport has said.
Gen. Katumba Wamala, likened Uganda’s geographical location and her economic strategic development as ‘a roundabout’ in the region.
He said the NRM government despite the World Bank’s decision not to consider more loans to Uganda, is more than determined to construct viable road networks interlinked to all neighbouring countries, to boost the country’s economic growth.
“Government has given me directives; We must make out country to be accessible by distance by building excellent and viable roads to all borderlines and I want to state that we are going to work on Amudat road to connect it to Nakapiripirit district,” Gen. Katumba said.
Gen. Katumba Wamala accompanied by Ministry of works staff and UNRA was yesterday [21 September] speaking to Kapchorwa, Bukwo and Kween districts’ political leaders and technical staff at Kween district headquaters during the monitoring and supervision of the construction works along Kapchorwa-Bukwo-Suam road.
The 73km stretch of road connecting Kapchorwa to Suam border, which lies on the Uganda-Kenya border, is currently being tarmacked by China State Construction Engineering Corporation (CSCEC) while Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) is the supervising agency for the project.
UNRA is the Uganda government agency responsible for developing and maintaining the country’s national roads network, advising the government on general roads policy, and addressing national transport concerns.
The project started in August 2018 with a groundbreaking ceremony performed by Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni and Kenyan President Williams Ruto.
Minister Katumba Wamala noted that the country has been able to participate in various development activities in the country, like road construction and other key infrastructural development, because of the prevailing peace.
He applauded CSCEC for the good work done so far and asked them to quicken up the completion of the project by the end of this year.
The woman MP for Bukwo Ms Evelyn Chemutai said that it is a pride to the Sebei sub-region that the project they had discussed in 2010 had become real.
“Many people here refer to this as a snake, CSCEC has made the road snake through hills and I want to state that we have been voting between 90% and 95% but come 2026, we shall vote Mzeei and NRM 100% because this is the best project the president has given us,” said Ms Evelyn Chemutai
The MP for Soy constituency in Kween Mr Abdi Chemaswet said the snake was complete the CSCEC has done great work and that the country is now beginning to realize the benefit of the peace ushered in by the NRM government.
“This is a critical element contributing substantially to the national development but thought must be made on Atar-Ngenge-Kween road that connects us to Kween district. This road is bad; it is riddled with potholes although it is part of the security road network. I have had to use 8 hours to come to Kween yet if the road is made, I can use fifteen minutes to be here,” said Mr Chemaswet.
The MP for Kween Mr Peter Chemonges asked CSCEC for more lights in trading centres along the road to help people feel safe and to help in not only reducing crime but also help to reduce glare from vehicle headlights.
Works at the road project
The scope of works for the Kapchorwa – Suam road construction project included the tarmacking of the entire gravel road starting at Kapchorwa, moving west to Kween, then towards Bukwo and ending at Suam which is on the border of Kenya and Uganda. It also includes the construction of 20km town roads, 10-foot bridges, one border post, 11 high standard bridges, 23 box culverts and 191 pipe culverts.
The cost of this road is estimated to be Ksh10.5 billion (US$105.76 million). The project was originally scheduled to be completed within 36 months, with a targeted completion date of 30 September 2022. However, the project faced delays due to extensive rock excavations which were more than what was anticipated, and abnormal rains. The delays have created a strain on the project funding, which is being provided by the African Development Bank and African Development Fund.