Government plans to take over municipality roadworks

Thursday February 14 2019

Construction. Part of Nyendo-Kitovu road where heaps of soil were poured  awaiting construction on Sunday as part of the efforts by Masaka Municipality  to upgrade the roads.

Construction. Part of Nyendo-Kitovu road where heaps of soil were poured awaiting construction on Sunday as part of the efforts by Masaka Municipality to upgrade the roads. PHOTO CHRISTOPHER KISEKKA 

By MISAIRI THEMBO KAHUNGU

Government is considering tarmacking strategic roads in all the 41 municipalities in order to ease accessibility and improve socio-economic development in the country.

Most of the municipalities have dusty roads that are being maintained through the Uganda Road Fund that also caters for other roads in the district local governments.

The Minister for Local Government (MoLG), Col Tom Butime, told Daily Monitor in an interview yesterday that he is set to present a report to Cabinet suggesting the construction of municipal roads be taken over by the Ministry of Works.

He said if Cabinet passes the policy, the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) would have to accommodate roads identified and recommended by municipal councils. The minister proposes that, unlike the national roads, the municipalities would take over the maintenance of these roads once UNRA hands them over after completion.
Most of the municipalities, the minister said, are depending on the mother districts for equipment to be able to work on their roads.
Last week, municipal mayors and town clerks, who attended a meeting organised by the MoLG decried the low funding for tarmacking of roads and maintaining murram roads in the urban councils.

Municipalities are already chocking on poor physical planning and mayors said the situation becomes tougher when land owners demand for compensation as roads are being opened.
The number of people relocating from villages to set-up buildings and businesses in urban centres is on the raise putting pressure on the marrum roads.

The spokesperson of UNRA, Mr Mark Ssali, said the agency would have no problem on taking over the construction of Municipal roads if the government observes the necessary procedure of transferring them from local to central government.

Beneficiaries

At least 14 municipalities are benefiting from the Uganda Support to Municipal Infrastructure Development (USMID), a World Bank project. Under USMID, which is being coordinated by the Ministry of Lands, benefiting municipalities have been supported with construction of selected roads, drainage channels and installation of solar-powered street lighting system. Those that are benefiting from USMID projects are Hoima, Fortportal, Tororo, Soroti, Mbale, Moroto, Arua, Gulu, Lira, Jinja, Mbarara, Kabale, Entebbe and Masaka.

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