UNRA undertakes road development project in Uganda

Road Jinga YoTuTThe Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) has announced it will begin a road development programme in Uganda within the next five years

The state body set-up in 2008 has US$800mn for its 2013-14 budget and has already expanded the road network from 10,800km to 21,000km.

UNRA noted that "in the past financial year, we have absorbed more than US$400mn which was allocated to us and because of good performance, the 2013-14 budget has been increased to more than US$800mn and we shall have an addition of 1,500km of different roads."

Ssebbugga Kimeze, a UNRA official, said while he reviewed the activities of the body over the last five years and the challenges ahead of it the road network has grown from 10,800km in 2008 to 21,000km.

According to Kimeze the Kabale-Kisoro road has now been completed while the Jinja-Bugiri road went under reconstruction, and the Soroti-Dokolo-Lira in northern Uganda was upgraded.

Kimeze added that the Gayaza-Zirobwe and Matugga-Semuto-Kapeeka roads have also now been built.

He however noted that "we are also challenged by a weak national construction industry. We had US$69.9mn budget for road maintenance in the last financial year, now increased to US$97.8mn, but we have to nurture and assist the contractors we contract to build their capacity. They are ill-staffed, ill-equipped and most of them cannot access bank loans."

Geoffrey Muleme

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