We shall mainly focus on maintaining available roads - Ecweru
What you need to know:
- The minister explained that many roads across the country were recently devastated by heavy rains against the backdrop of limited resources thus becoming a huge burden to the government.
The state minister for works Mr Musa Ecweru has said that the president asked them to minimize the opening and tarmacking of new roads and first work on the old ones that require maintenance, especially in the financial year starting in June.
“The President has directed that in the 2023/24 financial year, three-quarters of resources allocated to works should go to road maintenance. We may not open so many new roads for tarmacking, but let us maintain what we have,” he said during his tour of new road projects in Bushenyi and Mitooma districts on Tuesday.
The minister explained that many roads across the country were recently devastated by heavy rains against the backdrop of limited resources thus becoming a huge burden to the government.
“The recent rains devastated the whole country. For some reason, in the past, we could have one part of the country suffering from flooding while others are dry, but last year, they were all affected too. From Kisoro to Karenga, Bukwo to Koboko, the roads were destroyed. This has put a big burden on the ministry and yet the resources are coming in bits given the fact that we are just recovering from Covid-19 effects,” Mr Ecweru explained.
The Mbarara-Ishaka road is among the roads to be improved according to the minister, who expressed that funds must be allocated to solve the problem and minimize mobility risks motorists have been suffering.
“It is painful coming from Mbarara up to Katunguru through Ishaka. This road is going to be fixed. This road I can assure you for as long as I am in this docket, I am going to work with you to ensure that we improve it,” Mr Ecweru told a gathering at Ishaka
In November 2022, Bushenyi District leaders during a meeting with Uganda National Roads Authority expressed dissatisfaction with the government and UNRA over the deteriorating state of the Mbarara-Ishaka road.
The leaders said the road has become a deathtrap to motorists, adding that numerous calls to have it rehabilitated, have fallen on deaf ears.
The Bushenyi District Woman Member of Parliament, Ms Annet Katusiime Mugisha, said motorists were incurring high vehicle repair costs due to the poor state of the road.
“If this road is not rehabilitated, I am telling you we are going to lose a lot of money and time. It is the road you used when coming and you will again use it going back, and it is in bad condition,” she said.
Ms Racheal Ngonzibwa, the Unra southwestern Uganda regional manager, also said the process to rehabilitate the road was already in motion.
“A lot has been said about this road and I cannot repeat what the ministers and President have said. The designs are ongoing like they have already told you and we shall see the light at the end of the tunnel. All things are being handled,” she said.