• Tue. Oct 3rd, 2023

USMID‌ ‌Projects Advancing ‌the‌ ‌Western‌ ‌Region‌, Increasing Property Values

UGANDA, Western Region | Real Muloodi News | The Western Region is advancing thanks to continuing urban development that began in 2013. The Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development has made ongoing contributions to the rehabilitation and development of municipal roads, parks (bus, taxi and lorry parks), drainage and street lights in the region, through Uganda Support to Municipal Infrastructure Development (USMID) projects.

The World Bank-IDA is supporting the USMID program. It was to run for five years, from 2013 to 2018. However, the project was re-evaluated and given a five-year extension.

The USMID projects have changed the face of the following municipalities in Western Uganda:

Fort Portal Municipality

Business is booming in Fort Portal, following the construction of the Nyakana and Rukidi roads under the USMID program.

The installation of solar-powered street lights has enabled day-traders to continue trading into the night hours, increasing economic activities in the municipality.

Senior Community Development Officer, Alice Komuntaro explains, “We had a good market at Kabundaire, which was not occupied because of the sorry state of the roads. But now you can see the market is full because of the USMID support to improve our roads and also the provision of street lights.”

Other areas that have benefited from the USMID program include the Kabundaire Lorry Park.

Hoima Municipality

Hoima is the biggest town nearest to Uganda’s oil fields in Buliisa, in the Albertine region. The road infrastructure has led to increased income. The municipality raises approximately USh 6 million every month from parking fees.

Residential areas in Hoima are turning commercial after the construction of roads. Good roads have raised the value of the properties. Plots of land that used to go for USh 15 million, are now at USh 60 million.

Kabale Municipality

Kabale Municipality has also registered tremendous benefits under the USMID projects. According to Mayor Byamugisha Sentaro, under the USh 21.72 billion project, three roads are scheduled for tarmac. They are Rushoroza, Bwankosa, and Bushekwire. The roads will have solar security lighting and general beautification.

Kabale central market is also under construction, and contractors expect to complete it soon.

Ntungamo Municipality

In Ntungamo Municipality, the World Bank has set aside USh 17 billion to construct a central market, a bus park, a 2.7-kilometre stretch of road, and the installation of street lights. A joint venture between Multiplex Ltd and Ditaco contracted the work. 

According to the project engineer, Mr Vitus Kyeyune, the projects started in the Financial Year 2019/2020, but were halted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Mr Banex Niwamanya, the Ntungamo municipality principal finance officer, says while the funding is lower than expected, there will be a breakthrough in developing major infrastructure.

“As a Municipality, we have held brainstorming meetings to strategise on how to develop these structures like the current Central market, which is more or less good for demolition. We could not develop our taxi and bus park because our local revenue is low. Shs17b for specific projects is not little,” Mr Niwamanya says.

Mbarara Municipality

Former Minister of State for Urban Development, Dr Chris Baryomunsi, commissioned a USh 23 billion road project in Mbarara City to build three city roadways. They are Stanley Road, Maj. Victor Bwana Road and Galt Road. Included in the project are street lights and a beautification package.

The USMID implemented the program in three stages. The third stage is underway. Other roads completed in the first stage include Akiiki Nyabongo Road, McAllister Road, Constantino Lobo Road and Bulemba Road.

Additional works completed on the roads included surface dressing with asphalt concrete, drainage, walkways, parking lanes, solar street lights, trash cans and side greening.

The second stage covered Bucunku Road, Mbaguta Road, Bishop Wills Road, Bishop Wills Extension and Makhan Singh Street, totalling 2.577 kilometres.

The Central market in Mbarara is also under construction as part of the USMID project. The Kinkizi East MP, Dr Chris Baryomunsi, who presided over the project’s commissioning in Mbarara at the end of May, said the development of important roads outside the main town streets is a major step in assuring appropriate city planning.

“We don’t want to make mistakes as it was with Kampala City during its expansion. Right away as we develop these new cities, we need to appreciate physical planning and have planned and organised settlements. That is why besides funding, we are giving you human resources like urban development specialists and planners,” Dr Chris explained. 

According to Dr Chris, the project will help to improve the appearance of new cities, aid in good planning, drainage, and, as a result, contribute to the organisation in mushrooming cities.

Residents in Mbarara stated the value of their land has increased because of the expected opportunities.

A resident of Biafra Kakiika Ward, Mr Kassim Mugamba said, “We are now experiencing a surge in the number of people coming to buy plots and business has also improved.”

Ibanda, Bushenyi, Sheema, Kisoro, and Rukungiri are among the municipalities in western Uganda lobbying for inclusion in the next USMID project’s phase.


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