Construction of Buhanku Bridge Stalls Over Lack of Funds

2086 Views Nakaseke, Uganda

In short
In 2012, Uganda Road Fund disbursed 150 of the 300 million shillings budgeted for the construction of Buhanku Bridge to ease transport amongst the two districts.

The construction of Buhanku Bridge, which links Nakaseke to Kyankwanzi districts, has failed to kick off over lack of funds. In 2012, Uganda Road Fund disbursed 150 of the 300 million shillings budgeted for the construction of Buhanku Bridge to ease transport amongst the two districts. 

However, the money was returned to the treasury after the Nakaseke district failed to utilize it before the end of the financial year. As a result, Uganda Road Fund also withheld the remaining money, which has stalled the project.
 
Ignatius Koomu, the Nakaseke LC 5 chairperson explains that they failed to utilize the funds in time because the money was disbursed late to district. He also faults Muju consulting engineers for delaying to the issue the project design, impact assessment and architectural plan of the bridge, which delayed the work further.
 
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Benjamin Makanga, the Nakaseke district works secretary says they are now at crossroads because even the 60 million shillings that was allocated for paying the consultants was returned to Consolidated fund. He says since then company is reluctant to release the plan to the district.
 
Makanga says they are now hunting for 24 million shillings to plead with the consultant to release the plan to enable the district to solicit funding. Arnold Mugwanya, the Nakaseke District Engineer says they are planning to petition Uganda Roads Fund Agency explaining what caused the anomaly and ask for other funds.

The Delay to construct the bridge has not gone down well with residents and local leaders. Enock Nyongore, the LC V councilor Ngoma Sub County says the delay to construct the bridge has caused anxiety amongst the residents, who were optimistic that once the bridge is down it, would ease them the burden of crossing river Mayanja using canoes.
 
Nyongore explains that pupils from Nakaseke cross the river on canoes to access education in Kyankwanzi, which is very risky because they can easily be hit by hippopotamus and other wild animals. He also says the absence of a bridge has greatly affected livestock trade in his area. Fred Rwabirinda, a resident of Kinyogogga Sub County says they have started losing hope in the project, which was approved by President Yoweri Museveni.

Rwabirinda has asked Uganda Roads Fund Agency to release funds for the projects saying its implementation was affected bureaucracy. James Ruhweza, a resident of Ngoma town council says this the second time the district has returned funds to the treasury. He wonders the motive behind the decision by government motive to disburse funds to the district very late, which affects implementation of planned activities.
 
Efforts by URN to speak to Uganda Roads Fund Agency were unsuccessful. However, recently Uganda Road Fund Agency issued statement threatening to cut funding to Nakaseke district for alleged failure to account for six million shillings meant for road construction.

 

About the author

Brian Luwaga
Since Brian Luwaga joined Uganda Radio Network in 2011, he is still amazed how, "URN is a place that gives journalists a chance to enhance their skills . It gives a journalist an opportunity to adopt and master various aspects of journalism that include radio broadcast, social media, photography and television production."

A practicing journalist since 2009, first with Star FM, Luwaga has always been keen to write about the concerns of the "common person." Based for much of his career in Luweero, Luwaga takes it as a compliment if politicians complain that his reporting is too harsh.

In his journalism, Luwaga likes to merge the past with the present. He believes you cannot understand what is happening now, if you do not have a grounding in the past. Brian Luwaga is the Luweero URN bureau chief. Nakasongola, Nakaseke, Mityana, Mubende and Wakiso districts fall under his docket.

Luwaga is interested in humanitarian work and is a keen Rotarian.