28 November 2016

Uganda: World Bank Approves Action Plan for Cancelled Road Project

Photo: The New Times
file photo).

Kampala — The World Bank has approved an action plan presented by an inspection panel for the Uganda Transport Sector Development Project (TSDP).

In a statement issued last week , the Bank revealed that they had agreed on several action points with the government of Uganda.

"The World Bank Management's Action Plan, outlined in its response to the Inspection Panel report, commits to working to support the Government of Uganda in its implementation of a series of measures," the statement reads.

Some of the action points that were approved are prompt payment of resettlement compensation, implementing corrective measures for construction defects that have livelihood and safety impacts, ensuring the contractor meets its obligations on wages and working conditions and strengthening community response to gender-based violence within project communities.

"Supporting counselling for child survivors of sexual violence and their families, together with provision of health care support, adolescent sexual and reproductive health services and treatment of sexually transmitted infections, plus support in seeking legal redress," the statement further reads. Additionally, the World Bank also committed to working with "the government to address endemic social issues."

In December 2015, the Bank cancelled TSDP project financing valued for the project after findings by a World Bank inspection panel revealed that there were violations of social, environmental standards and practices by the road contractor.

Their inspection panel had identified cases of child sexual abuse and teenage pregnancies caused by road workers, an increased presence of sex workers, the spread of HIV/Aids, sexual harassment of female employees, inadequate resettlement practices, a lack of road safety, and negative construction impacts. Subsequently, the World Bank cancelled the 66-kilometre Kamwenge-Fort Portal Road valued at Shs120 billion because of violations by the contractor, Chinese Railway Seventh Group.

The investigation also revealed failings by both the World Bank and government of Uganda.

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