Gulu to Lose World Bank Funding Over Lack Of Engineer

3351 Views Gulu, Uganda

In short
However, the absence of a qualified competent and substantive engineer is putting it at a risk of losing the grant.

Gulu district is at the risk of losing billions of shillings under the World Bank development fund for improvement of road infrastructure due to lack of a qualified engineer. Recently, World Bank approved US$150 million under the International Development Association-IDA credit to finance urban infrastructure and improvement of service delivery in 14 municipalities in Uganda.

The six year Uganda Support to Municipal Infrastructure Development (USMID) will expand urban infrastructure and enhance the capacity of the 14 municipalities to generate their own revenue, improve urban planning, strengthen financial management, procurement, environment and social systems. Gulu is among the 14 municipalities that were selected to benefit from the project.
 
However, the absence of a qualified competent and substantive engineer is putting it at a risk of losing the grant. According to the guidelines of the project, each benefiting municipality is supposed to have a qualified and registered engineer as prerequisite for accessing the grant. Gulu municipality has an acting engineer who is not registered by the Institute of Professional Engineers.

This has raised fears among Gulu Municipal councilors and public, saying they might lose out on the project. John Ooola the Gulu Municipal Town Clerk acknowledges that the town does not have a registered engineer as required by the project. Oola says that they have petitioned the local government Ministry to allow them use its current engineer on ground that he has a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering despite the fact that he is not yet registered with the institute of professional engineers.

Oola says the acting municipal engineer Terence Omona is already working on the project which is to start in the next five months. Kelly Komakech, the Gulu Municipal Speaker says they are considering hiring a registered engineer to supervise the project. He says professional engineers shun working with local governments because of the low pay. The failure by the municipality to recruit a competent engineer in time has not gone down with Gulu municipality residents.

They are worried of losing out on the project yet the roads in the municipality are in a deplorable state. Angelo Mudoto, one of the residents says they will stage protests if Gulu Municipal Council insists on using the same unqualified engineer to supervise such a big project. Mudoto says the acting engineer has a poor track record because of the shoddy work done on most of the roads in Gulu town.

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