A host of infrastructure projects worth shs18.5 billion in Kamwenge district funded by the World Bank through the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban development area nearly completion and could be commissioned by November this year.
The Uganda Support to Municipal Infrastructure Development (USMID) is the oversight agency of the $360 Million dollar programme that seeks to scale up availability of key socio-economic facilities such as roads, markets, community resource centres among others.
In Kamwenge which is a refugee host district, the interventions are in the areas of gravel roads which are being upgraded to high class murram, a modern market, lockups, taxi park, recreation park and community resource centre.
“ We are implementing the USMID AF programme. Our infrastructure component has 8 projects which includes 2 resource centres, 2 market shades and a number of kilometres are being improved to class C gravel roads,“ Annet Kobusingye, the Kamwenge District Engineer, informed the Programme and Technical Committee visiting the district during an inspection.
She added that contractors have been called upon to work harder and ensure completion of these projects which are committed to 18.5 billion shillings are completed not later than November, 30 for commissioning.
Gonzaga Mayanja, the Commissioner for Monitoring and Evaluation, in the Office of the Prime led the inspection team, which is verifying the progress of the infrastructure projects in Kamwenge district.
“We are here in Kamwenge, to assess the progress of civil works under the USMID-AF programme. We have seen several roads that have been upgraded, a market and resource centre. The workmanship is good. But the timelines are of essence. Some of the works appear to be falling behind schedule, before end of this component in December,” he noted, adding that the money for these projects is available.
One of the World Bank projects in Kamwenge.
“We are now recommending that the service providers or contractors share their updated work plan with the district authorities to ensure that they expedite the completion of these projects,” Mayanja observed.
Kamwenge including Isingiro, Kiryandongo, Arua, Terego, Lamwo, Arua, Yumbe, Obongi, Adjumani and Madi-Okolo, form part of the refugee hosting districts in which the World Bank is funding a $60m support on key infrastructure projects.
Roads, market, social amenities, resource centres among others form the support that the 11 districts are benefiting, aimed to improving the socio-economic well-being of both the refugees and host communities.
Magarate Lwanga, a monitoring and evaluation specialist with USMID urged the local government officials and project contractors in Kamwenge, to ensure all the social safe guards are adhered to.
“As you move closer to the completion of these projects, please, ensure that the environmental and social safe guards as incumbent upon you is fully complied with. We want the communities to which these projects are intended for to reap from a better environment where they live and work; without undermining their social tenets as well,” she advised.
A market under construction courtesy of funding from the World Bank.
Kamwenge District Resident Commissioner Isaiah Byarugaba, promised a follow up meeting with other local government officials and the respective contractors to commence mass tree planting activities within and along the project corridors.
“The rains have now set in and we shall have a meeting next week to harmonise with the project communities on how best we can involve everybody in the tree planting. This will have additional long term benefit for the greater Kamwenge long after the projects have been completed,” Byarugaba promised.
The Kamwenge Community Development Officer Harriet Niringiye, told the Programme Technical Committee of USMID, that the various projects being implemented across the refugee host district has so far been conducted within minimal complaints from the local communities.
“We have been cognizant of the diversity of the communities within Kamwenge, we continue to resolve any grievances connected to projects under progress as fast as possible. We have not had anything concerns that are so grave,” she revealed.
The Kamwenge district engineer, Michael Agaba, said that the maximum extensions provided to the contractors fall on November, 17 and that they are hopeful the projects will be completed and handed over to the local government for use by the both the host and refugee communities.