The Uganda National Roads Authority has conceded that its performance has fallen short of the public's expectations.
Last year the Ministry of Finance allocated 1.1 trillion shillings to for road development and maintenance. It was the largest budgetary allocation for road construction in Uganda's history. Almost a year later, barely any work has been done.
Dan Alinange, Communication Manager at the Uganda National Roads Authority, blames long procurement procedures and scarcity of credible building contractors of the delays. He explains that the procurement process takes between six and nine months and so the Roads Authority is working with the Public Procurement and Disposal of Assets Authority on creative ways of doing an efficient job within a short time.
Alinange says one of the proposals involves contracting the same companies to design and construct roads.
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The Uganda National Roads has so far awarded 70 contracts for maintenance of 7,500 kilometers gravel roads. Alinange says the number of contracts awarded will rise to 100 by the end of this year.
A progress report on national road maintenance and construction shows that a lot of time has been spent on filling potholes on the highways and completing ongoing projects. Some of the roads that have been worked on are Kampala-Masaka, Kampala-Mityana and Kampala-Gulu highways.
Most of the new projects have not commenced. Tenders are being received for the construction of the road between Ntungamo and Mirama Hill, Mbarara-Kigagati Road, Rukungiri-Ishasha Road and the road from Kamuli to Bukingu. Construction works on some of the roads is expected to begin in the next financial year.
The Roads Authority spokesperson says major road works on Kampala-Mityana and Fort Portal Bundibugyo are expected to commence by next month.
uganda national roads authority