26 February 2013

Uganda: Slow Payouts May Hurt Road Plan

Kampala, Uganda — The failure by Uganda's Ministry of Finance Planning and Economic Development to release all compensation money to locals living and working along the Entebbe Express Highway may hinder the proposed road project.

According to Mr. Daniel Alinange the Communications Manager of Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) the ministry has not released the second phase of the finances meant to compensate locals who are going to be affected by the 51.4 km Express Highway.

According to UNRA, the compensation will cost Ush 100bn ($40 m) for land owners along the route yet government has released only Ush 15bn ($ 5,769,230 m) which can only handle a few.

"We expect to compensate about 2000 people. So far we have compensated 310 people and we shall pay another 70 people by the end of this week. This number will cover the first 6km," he told East African Business Week on Tuesday last week.

Locals who spoke to EABW blamed government for delaying their compensation payment despite the fact that construction work is ongoing. The residents fear that the compensation may never take place.

Government is in the process of constructing the new Kampala - Entebbe Express Highway a four -lane dual carriage toll road linking the city to Entebbe International Airport. The highway was commissioned in November 2012 by President Y.K Museveni.

The US$476 m road project is cofunded by the Exim Bank of China and the Uganda's government. The road project will reduce congestion along Kampala -Entebbe.

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