Govt to build 12 new markets

Gulu Main Market, one of the markets that were constructed under the first $150m (Shs527b) World Bank-funded project across the country. Government is set to build more such markets in other areas. PHOTO/FILE

What you need to know:

  • Officials say government will also construct modern recreational centres, taxi and bus parks in the beneficiary districts.

Government is set to embark on construction of additional 12 modern markets this financial year across new municipalities in the country, on top of the 14 that have been completed or are undergoing construction.

The 14 municipalities, now mostly cities, that benefited from the first $150m (Shs 527b) World Bank-funded project across the country, include Arua, Gulu, Lira (northern Uganda); Soroti, Moroto, Mbale, Tororo, Jinja (eastern Uganda); Entebbe, Masaka (central); Mbarara, Kabale, Fort Portal and Hoima (western Uganda).

This information was revealed by Mr Raphael Magyezi the minister for Local Government, in a meeting with the State Minister of Urban Planning, Mr Mario Obiga Kania, and staff of National Physical Planning Board on the importance of having a well-planned urban centre, in Kampala recently.

“Some of the districts that will benefit from the project include Mubende, Gomba, Kyotera, Rakai, Lwengo, Kikuube, Kakumiro, Sembabule and Kyankwanzi, and each market will cost between Shs15b and 25b, depending on size,” he said.

Mr Magyezi added that on top of the markets, government will also construct modern recreational centres, taxi and bus parks in these local governments.

He noted that government has started physical planning for six cities, which are operational, including Arua, Gulu, Soroti, Mbarara, Fort portal, and Lira. The remaining ones will start in the next financial year.

The minister said by end of this month, 300 town councils would have been funded to start operationing in a better environment because all of them have physical planners.

He urged the public to report any town clerk seen auctioning public land for their own benefit to the authorities for prosecution.

Ms Amanda Ngabirano, the chairperson of National Physical Planning Board (NPPB), called on government to expedite approval processes of a national physical development plan to provide a spatial framework for the nation.

“We need political support in the board’s efforts to enhance compliance and enforcements of physical development planning legal procedures, especially from politicians who fail proper urban planning,” she said.

She said government has released Shs4.5 billion to the NPPB to ensure there is proper physical planning in urban centres across the country, starting with 11 cities across the country this financial year.

The NPPB boss added that the money will be used for preventive and corrective measures, mindset change, identifying and implementing quick wins and supporting local governments in enforcement and compliance of better urban planning. 

Others are developing innovative approaches to address some of the challenges like garbage management, and developing collaborative mechanisms with government ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs), including the ministries of Local Government, Transport, and that of Energy, the National Environmental Management Authority, and police.