12 November 2012

Uganda: UNRA Starts Compensations for Entebbe Express Highway

The Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) has started compensating people who will be affected by the construction of the new Entebbe express highway.

Over sh2b has been disbursed to 50 people who will be affected by the big infrastructural project. UNRA, however, declined to name the first batch of beneficiaries, saying these people will get SMS alerts upon their monies being wired on their accounts.

"Because of the tensions involved, we are not going to expose the names of beneficiaries. Everybody who is affected will be paid. You do not need to lobby," UNRA's head of corporate communications Dan Alinange said.

The first beneficiaries have been drawn from Kinaawa B, which constitutes the first six kilometers of the highway. Alinange further urged the affected parties to be patient as auditors still verify the many claims of compensation.

Owing to the high market value of property, UNRA hopes to spend over sh100b in compensation for the 51.4km highway. UNRA says it will also pay disturbance fee on top of the property value. "If your property is sh100m, we will add you sh30m for disturbance," Alinange adds.

Expected to cost over sh400b, Alinange justified the seemingly high cost of the project. "The entire highway will have lighting. Instead of murrum, we will use bridges, which will account for about 4km of the road," he explained.

UNRA says the compensation activity is the only thing stopping the contractor, China Communications Company, from starting the project.

Seryazi Lameck, the project co-coordinator with the firm that is surveying, said evaluating property and compensating the victims was non-committal as to when the entire compensation process will be complete.

The highway is expected to be complete within four years, according to UNRA.

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