• Sun. Jun 26th, 2022

Lira-Kamdini Road Works Finally Commissioned

UGANDA, Lira Real Muloodi NewsThe government, through the Ministry of Works and Transport, finally commissioned the reconstruction of the 78 kilometres Lira-Kamdini Road.

The road was known for its many potholes and poor infrastructure, and yet it is part of the 340 kilometres Tororo-Mbale-Soroti-Lira-Kamdini North Eastern Corridor Project (NERAMP).

On June 27th, 2018, a Portuguese firm, MOTAENGIL, was contracted to work on the entire section of the road within two batches at a cost of USh622.6 million.

They had hoped that the works would be completed on February 12th, 2017, but there were delays in carrying out emergency works on the road. The delays prompted the Lango Parliamentary Group to think that they had been defrauded.

The delay distressed the caucus which Judith Alyek heads.

“The construction of this road came with a lot of questions from the communities we represent that why are we not taken as a priority? Don’t we vote for the National Resistance Movement (NRM) which is in government? Why is the Lango sub-region having only 3% of the tarmacked road network? Does the government have money and what is it doing?’ Alyek said.

The State Minister for Transport and Works, Musa Echweru, blamed the delay on the World Bank, which is financing the project.

“The president of this country, the government does not promise air. And we have to be honest; we had a lot of hurdles with the World Bank. A lot of very steep hurdles to jump and as we were working with the World Bank to jump those hurdles, the community was suffering,” he said.

According to the media, the contracted firm, MOTAENGIL, met resistance while trying to secure a certificate of compliance from the Environmental and Social Safe Guards, which is a requirement for World Bank-funded projects.

“The president prescribed two solutions. The first one, he said if this hurdle with the World Bank is becoming too high for us to jump and the suffering is continuing, why don’t we suspend it and do it as Uganda? And he directed us to look for resources to fix this road but if our friends and partners of World Bank can also review external and stringent regulations without breaking the laws but accept to know that this is a serious and pertinent matter, then we shall do that,” Echweru added.

He also explained that as they were about to try and solve the issue, the other party became more considerate, and they resumed the original arrangement.

“So, we met the leadership of the World Bank and said we make it faster than the normal speed you always employ. And it is the consequence of those engagements that have brought us here today and I want to thank the World Bank, particularly the new management for being very professional and flexible,” said Echweru.

The minister then vowed to supervise the project to the very end and ensure that quality maintenance.

“This MOTAENGIL Group, I know them. We have interfaced and worked with them in some areas. They believe in quality because they have a name to protect. My prayer is that sometimes I am told that you contractors when you are doing things in the city you are very careful and when you go to the rural areas like Kamdini, then you compromise quality,” the minister warned.

The Lira-Kamdini Road is a major commercial connection route for the Lango sub-region that links the Uganda-Kenya border of Busia through Tororo, Soroti, and Lira to South Sudan through Gulu city.

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