Uganda: Govt Unveils Plan to Expand Masaka-Mutukula Highway

28 January 2020

The Uganda National Roads Authority (Unra) has unveiled plans to rehabilitate and expand the Masaka-Kyotera-Mutukula road.

The project is to be funded by the African Development Bank under the New Partnership for Africa's Development programme of the African Union.

Mr Mark Ssali, the head of public and corporate affairs at Unra, said the road will expanded to a single carriageway.

"The total road way shall be 11m wide except for Kyotera Town where the road will include a parking lane of 3 metres," he said in an interview at the weekend.

Mr Ssali revealed that the new road designs are expected to be ready by March and thereafter construction works will commence.

"Once the design studies are concluded, the East African Secretariat will secure funds for the road implementation under the similar arrangement," he added.

Mr Ssali said the Masaka-Kyotera-Mutukula highway has been prioritised for expansion because it links the central corridor to the northern corridor, which are the main transit routes in the East African region.

"This project is part of Mutukula-Kyaka/Kasulo-Kamunazi and Bugene-Kasulo road on the Tanzanian side, which serve as an alternative route to the coast for Uganda through the Dar es Salaam port," he said.

Rising case

Since 2017, there has been a remarkable increase in volumes of transit cargo through Mutukula border ever since it became a one-stop border post, which operates 24 hours daily. Transit goods, passengers, travellers and exports exiting through Mutukula to either Tanzania or Uganda stop once for clearance by immigration and customs officials.

Mr Henry Komakech, the Unra manager for Masaka branch, said they have held meetings with project-affected persons in Kalisizo and Mutukula towns, and more sensitisation meetings will be conducted soon. He added that already, some houses, which will be affected by the project, have already been marked with an X.

Mr Timothy Mbaziira, the chairperson of Kasasa Sub-county, said the project will offer job opportunities to residents.

"Expanding that road is a wise decision by the regional leaders and I am optimistic that our people will be given jobs when the project kicks off," he said.

The plan to expand Masaka-Kyotera-Mutukula road comes at a time when government is also planning to establish a regional market in Kasanvu Village, Mutukula Town Council. The market, whose construction will be funded by South African-based Degitech Energy Company Ltd at a tune of Shs2.8 trillion, is expected to start this year.

It will bring together manufacturers, distributors, wholesalers, retailers and consumers from all over the East African region. The market will be operating every Tuesday and Friday and will also have a livestock yard where animals such as sheep, goats and cattle will be kept temporarily for slaughter and sale on the local and export market.

JUSTIFICATION

Since 2017, there has been a remarkable increase in volumes of transit cargo through Mutukula border ever since it became a one-stop border post, which operates 24 hours daily. Transit goods, passengers, travellers and exports exiting through Mutukula to either Tanzania or Uganda stop once for clearance by immigration and customs officials.

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