The Gulu local road net work has receive a grant of about 83 Billion Shillings from the government of Japan.
The grant will be used to improve municipal council roads in Gulu municipality that are currently in a sorry state. Most of these are murram roads attract vast dust during sunny seasons and mud during rainy seasons. Others have been impassable due to multitudes of potholes.
The project will be executed by Uganda’s Transport and Works ministry . It is still not clear how many kilometres of the municipality roads will be worked on; though its estimated that a total of 6.7 Km will be rehabilitated.
The funding, according to Gulu Municipality Mayor George Labeja, will cover works on 12 roads within the town centre. They include Queens Avenue, Awere Road, Olya Road, Labwor Road and Lagoro Road among others.
These form part of the infrastructure that was not covered under the World Bank funded Uganda Support to Municipal Infrastructure Development (USMID) Project. Labeja says that upon the completion of the project, Gulu will have 27 first class tarmac roads.
While signing the grant agreement today at the Ministry of Finance offices in Kampala, the Minister of finance planning and economic development Matia Kasaija stated that Gulu is a strategic business hub and the improvement of roads will facilitate trade and development.
Kasaija however in his remarks said was disappointed by the was grants are handled and warned Ministry of Works and contractors against delay of the work and mismanagement, he says that Government wants to realize value for money. The road works will commence in May 2017 and expected to be complete by March 2019.
Kazuaki Kamedi, the Japan Ambassador to Uganda says Japan will see the implemetation of this project and will provide technical assistance in maintenance of the roads. He says the project is ready to start and now awaiting detailed design development followed by the bidding process.
Ministry of Works Permanent Secretary Bwangamoi Okello noted that good roads are instrumental for the recovery of Northern Uganda, a region that suffered two decades of a protracted rebellion led by the Lord’s Resistance Army-LRA.