The Prime Minister Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda has said government is committed to fulfilling its manifesto pledges and also advance its strategy for poverty eradication, economic development and regional integration.
Rugunda made the remarks while presiding over the ground breaking ceremony of the upgrading of Kigumba-Bulima road in Masindi district on Wednesday, where he represented President Yoweri Museveni.
Rugunda said the NRM government has always put a lot of emphasis on infrastructure development such as electricity and roads. He said since 1986, a number of major roads have been constructed or reconstructed and more roads are yet to be upgraded to tarmac starting this financial year.
Rugunda also noted that Kigumba- Bulima road upon completion will enhance service delivery in the country by linking up North and Mid-Western Uganda.
“Kigumba-Bulima is the beginning section of the road from Kyenjojo to Kigumba. The construction of the road from Kyenjojo to Bulima is already ongoing with support from our Development Partners. The construction of the last section from Bulima to Kigumba will complete this important link,” the Premier said.
The Premier also highlighted some of the roads still undergoing construction and those that have been completed including; Olwiyo-Gulu, Mukono-Kyetume-Katosi, Gulu- Acholibur among others.
He said Government will soon embark on the construction of the critical oil roads using its own funds with some assistance from the Chinese government, noting that road infrastructure will positively impact on the development of Bunyoro-sub region and the country at large.
“In addition to the numerous direct economic benefits associated with the improvement of transport infrastructure, these improved roads will also be of great importance for delivery of social services like health care and education,” Rugunda said.
He said a functional road network will contribute to the integration of Uganda’s economy into regional and global market which is the precondition for sustainable economic growth and development.
Rugunda thanked the African Development Bank and other Development Partners for financing the upgrade of Kigumba-Bulima road.
The Premier on this occasion also met and addressed the students of Kabalega secondary school and urged them to emulate the Late Kabalega’s spirit of patriotism and nationalism.
He said UNRA will work with the school to ensure that some of the facilities damaged as a result of the road construction are fixed or compensated.
The Chairman of the Board of Directors, Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA), Fred Jachan Omach said the construction of the 69km road is supported by financing from the African Development Bank and DFID, adding that the works contract was awarded to M/S China Railways No.5 Engineering Group Ltd.
He thanked the locals and District leadership for supporting the infrastructure development in the area noting that there was easy access of right of way.
The Country Manager for African Development Bank, Kennedy Mbekeani praised UNRA for its collaboration and good working relations with the Partners.
He however asked government to address issues concerning land acquisition and environmental protection while undertaking construction of the road.
Mbekeani on behalf of African Development Bank pledged total commitment and support towards the road project.
The Kigumba-Bulima road work project is expected to be completed by August 2020.
The function was also attended by the Minister of Works and Transport, Monica Azuba Ntege, Area Members of Parliament, Local Leaders and the Executive Director UNRA, Allen Kagina among others.
BY DOREEN NASASIRA
Monday, March 05, 2018