Uganda: Police to Resume Construction of Officers' Housing Units

Police is set to resume construction of officers housing units after being allocated Shs 292 billion for domestic development in the FY 2020/21 fiscal year starting next month.

The development budget has been increased by 32.8 per cent compared to Shs 196 billion that was given to the force in FY 2019/20. The domestic development budget caters for among other things; the construction of police housing units, police stations, purchase of more fleet, renovations of police stations and refurbishing existing health amenities.

Dr Moses Byaruhanga, the director police medical services, said in the coming budget, police hope to purchase at least seven new ambulances for his directorate.

The police force had 32 ambulances in total but at least 10 have since been grounded. Purchasing new ambulances, according to Byaruhanga, will steer the medical directorate efforts' to respond to medical emergencies. Byaruhanga says ambulances are attached to various districts as a health contribution from the police force. These are attached to among other districts Katakwi, Buikwe, Iganga, Masaka, Kabaale and Mbarara.

Police have 92 health facilities ranging from health centre IIs to IIIs in Arua, Kiryandongo, Soroti, Katakwi, Iganga, Mpigi, Buwama, Mbarara, Rukungiri, Hoima, and Masindi. The force hopes to renovate some of these health facilities while others will be equipped.

Another police project that is expected to take a big chunk is the stalled construction of 10,000 housing units for lower rank police officers who range from the inspector of police to police constables.

The police council resolved to first start with 17 buildings with four levels each. Every floor on the 17 building contains 15 housing units. Each building is being erected at a cost of Shs 6.9 billion. However, police spokesperson, Fred Enanga, recently told URN that the construction had stalled due to slow release of funds.

Even though the first phase of the seven units of for the 17 building was supposed to be completed in 2018, it is only one building that is complete and is already occupied by 60 police personnel manning the national Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) command centre at Naguru.

Former police boss Gen Kale Kayihura launched the construction of police housing units. The police council passed the idea of first constructing 1,020 unit but were later reduced to 360 as a pilot project. Last year, the police council also passed the idea of establishing a full-fledged forensic directorate that is currently headed by Andrew Mubiru.

To cater to female police officers' affairs, police leadership also wants to start up a gender directorate. These and many others are all expected to be catered for in Shs 292 billion budget for domestic development.

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