17 May 2019

Uganda: We Will Meet 2021 Roads Target - Works Minister

Kampala — Government has said its on course to meet its plan of constructing more than 2,000 kilometres of roads by 2021.

During the presentation of the manifesto implementation progress report at the Office of Prime Minister yesterday, the Minister of Works and Transport, Ms Monica Azuba Ntege, said in the last three years, 632.1 kms of roads were completed, with additional 382 kms under construction, expected to be completed by the end of this year.

"382km of paved network will be completed; when added to the 632.1km, it will result into 1.014km. This will represent 46 per cent of the manifesto target of 2,295 kms," Ms Azuba said.

She also said the contracts for another 308 kms of road works have been signed and works have started.

Government budget

Figures from the Ministry of Works and Transport indicate that government had budgeted a total of Shs37 trillion for the ministry for five years. This, according to the ministry, would cater for road, air, railway and inland water transport.

Road sector took the lion's share of Shs19.3 trillion, followed by the railway at about Shs12 trillion, followed by air transport at Shs5 trillion and inland water transport trailing at Shs727 billion.

Officials from the ministry say only Shs22.6 trillion is available to rollout the construction works, leaving a funding gap of Shs14.4 billion, which the government is struggling to get.

The ministry says the design of 25 roads have been completed while another 20 are being designed.

Ms Azuba said: "Under the rehabilitation of the old roads, a total of 428.5 kms have been completed, while 341kms are under repairs. Thus, a total of 769 kms of the national road network will be rehabilitated in the first four years of the manifesto period against the target of 700km."

Regarding the air transport sector, the minister was grateful with the revival of Uganda airlines. Already two planes are in the country and another two are expected in July and September.

With this, Ms Azuba said Uganda is on the course to make Entebbe Airport a regional hub and make Uganda a cheaper travel destination.

She said the upgrades at Entebbe airport are expected to accommodate the increasing air traffic. Ms Azuba expects the construction works to be completed by 2020/2021.

The minister also said Kabale airport construction work is progressing, with 35 per cent of physical work already complete. She said this and other regional airfields will offer more efficient and cheaper air transport.

However, Minister Azuba said while her ministry has performed well over a period of time, inadequate funding by the government is delaying several projects, with some including Bukasa port, Tororo-Gulu railway line and a number of national roads.

Government's Plan

Construction. Under the road sector, government had planned to tarmac a total of 2,205 kms of roads, rehabilitate 700 kms of old paved roads, construct expressways within the greater Kampala metropolitan area and construct 112 bridges across the country. It also planned to procure 1,152 road maintenance equipment, maintain 2,500 kms of paved roads and 10,000 kms of unpaved roads.

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