With nearly 75% of Uganda's 20,000km road network in need of refurbishment, and partly contributing to the 2,500 lives lost in road carnage annually, the Government has undertaken a new contracting mechanism to keep roads in good condition.
Under the term contract system, local contractors will be given two-year renewable contracts to maintain paved/ tarmac roads as well as undertake periodic maintenance of murrum ones.
Successful bidders will be under contractual obligations to ensure a full-time presence on the allotted roads, sweeping, clearing bushes, opening-up drainages and re-graveling roads during the contract period.
Term contracting is intended to make roads better and passable, says Dan Alinange, the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) publicist. "We are targeting all major corridors due for tarmacking," he said. "We no longer want cases when traffic builds up unnecessarily because it has rained making the roads impassable."
A total of 3,200km will be kept in good shape through periodic term maintenance, with 800km worked on through maintenance, says Justine Ongom Odongo, the UNRA road maintenance manager.
"We think this scheme will be able to give us guaranteed and continuous road maintenance," he says. "We are starting with paved roads in Kampala and then move to all other corridors."
Contracts for the first phase of term maintenance of 1,201kms of paved roads have been awarded and works commenced.
Some of the paved roads already benefiting from the new scheme include the Kampala-Entebbe highway, the Northern By-pass, Ggaba-Munyonyo and Kibuye- Busega roads.