Kampala — Government yesterday signed a multi-billion deal with the China Railway Seventh Group to design and construct Masindi-Biso, Kabaale-Kizirafumbi and Hohwa-Nyairongo-Kyarushesha-Butole road.
The 97km road is part of the 700km critical oil roads that are supposed to be tarmacked ahead of onset of oil production in 2021.
Officials from Uganda National Roads Authority (Unra) say the road construction will cost Shs504b and is expected to be completed within 36 months, with two years defects liability period.
While signing the contract at the Unra head offices in Kampala, Ms Allen Kagina, the authority executive director, said all the preparatory work for the construction have been accomplished.
These include, data required for the design of the roads, preparation of the feasibility reports, preparation of resettlement action plan and environmental social impact assessments.
She said the work will start in May and is expected to be completed in May 2021 and that the contractor is expected to deliver timely quality work.
"The contract agreement between Unra and the contract is to the effect that the contractor will pre-finance and execute works for a period of 12 months from the commencement date while government of Uganda secures funds for paying or the works to be executed," Ms Kagina said.
She added that government has already secured 50.4 per cent of the right of the way on the project affected areas, which she said is above the 30 per cent needed to hand over the site to the contractor.
"To date we have verified 2,774 project affected persons and paid 66.4 per cent of the persons and acquired 50.4 per cent right of way ready for implementation of works. We have also valued and verified up to 10,841 project affected persons along packages 1, 2, 3 & 4 roads and managed to pay 56.8 per cent of them. Payment of the remaining person are pending release by the Ministry of Finance," she said.
Ms Kagina said government has reserved 30 per cent of the works on the road to be done by the local contractors to build their capacities for bigger future contracts.
She said a project management team is already in place to monitor the performance of local content compliance in the contract.
Mr Michael Ochola, the team leader for bridges at Unra, who will also supervise the bridge construction under the current contract said the lifespan of the roads will be between 15-20 years.
Mr Bian Peng who represented the Chinese construction firm promised to abide by the set guidelines by delivering timely quality work.