14 towns to be upgraded
Posted Tuesday, January 15 2013 at 02:00
Fourteen urban centres countrywide are set to have their infrastructure upgraded under a five-year World Bank-funded project, officials from the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development have revealed.
Mr David Kasimbazi, a senior consultant in the ministry, said last week that $160 million (about Shs432 billion) will be spent on improving the towns under the Uganda Support Municipality Urban Development Project that runs up to 2016. The project is intended to remove the slum image from the towns.
Towns that will benefit are Kabale, Mbarara, Fort Portal, Mbale, Arua, Gulu, Lira, Soroti, Tororo, Jinja, Kampala, Masaka, Kasese and Entebbe. The ministry officials are currently helping the towns bring together the local stakeholders and draw a strategic plan.
Kabale Town stakeholders’ forum named “The Kabale Municipality Development Forum” was formed on Friday. It will identify the development needs which will be the basis for applying for the fund.
Mr Elijah Betunga was elected the president of the forum and Ms Pauline Kirasha was elected vice. The executive members of the forum include representatives from non-governmental organisations, professional, religious leaders, media, academia, slum dwellers, politicians and media.
Mr Kasimbazi said for the town to develop, “it needs collective role and responsibility from government officials, professionals, slum dwellers, business community, NGOs and religious leaders”.
Each town forum will access funds on condition that they have a strategic physical plan done in accordance with the five-year plan as prepared by the government to cause a transformation. Mr Kasimbazi warned government officials against mismanaging the funds.
Kabale Town clerk Augustine Bujara said that the forum should be ready to monitor work being done in order to ensure value for money.