Government has commissioned a 149.4km-gravel road network in Bunyoro districts of Hoima and Buliisa that the Minister for Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Betty Kamya, said cost Shs26.2b.
Presiding over the functions, Ms Kamya said the road network will be an important infrastructure that will enable the local people to benefit from the oil industry through increased agricultural production and access to market.
Commissioning eight roads measuring 118.1km in Hoima district at Kyabigambire sub-county headquarters this (Friday) afternoon, the minister urged the local people to be innovative in business and tourism for them to tap the opportunities with the oil industry related infrastructure.
The function in Hoima was preceded by one in Buliisa where Ms Kamya commissioned 31.3km of three roads constructed by Greystone Limited at Shs6.5b yesterday (Thursday).
Ms Kamya expressed government’s commitment to extending more services to the people so they can benefit from the oil industry either directly or indirectly, affirming that the construction of the three modern markets in Bunyoro including Biiso in Buliisa, Kabaale in Hoima and Buhuka in Kikuube will be completed by June 30, this year.
All projects are funded by the World Bank under the Albertine Region Sustainable Development Project (ARSDP)
In Buliisa district such roads as Biiso-Nyeramya-Waaki, Buliisa-Bugana and Ngwedo-Bikongoro-Ndandamire have been upgraded to first class gravel.
While in Hoima district, Kihombya-Kyarubanga-Bukerenge, Kiboirya-Iseisa-Buhamba, Kitoba-Icuukira-Kigorobya, Kitoba-Kyabasengya-Kiboijana,Waaki-Kiryabutuzi-Mparangasi, Bulindi-Waaki-Dwoli, Kyakapeeya-Kisiita-Kibaire and Kafo-Kisambya-Wagesa-Buraru have also been upgraded to first class gravel.
They cost Shs19.7b
Speaking at the ceremony, the Bugahya County Member of Parliament in Hoima district, Pius Wakabi Rujumba, challenged the Hoima constructions contractor, Abubakar Technical Services to fix enough humps identified to be important for road safety.
“The work has been fairly done. Basing on weather and terrain challenges, I can say the job has been well done. I, however, urge the contractor to consider fixing humps at trading centres and more culverts where needed as soon as possible as pointed out by the community members to avoid accidents,” he said.
The Buliisa district chairman, Simon Agaba Kinene, urged Minister Kamya to support the district in lobbying the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) to take up the roads because they might be too costly for the district local government to rehabilitate since they are not tarmac.
One of the local people in Buliisa, Mr Herbert Kintaboine, has been seen already having started enjoying business around Bikongoro areas towards Kigwera sub-county.
“It was tough in the past passing here with our merchandise. But now, we can see the benefits of oil discovery,” he told Kazi-njema News.
Ms Jane Anirwoth, a resident of Bugana in Buliisa district said poor road network was one of the troubles expectant mothers were facing to access health services.
The road network in Buliisa facilitates connections around the Tilenga oil project managed by Total E&P Uganda while the Hoima dissect road network connects people in agricultural production areas of Buhanika, Kyabigambire, Kigorobya, Kitoba and Buseruka to Hoima city and Kabaale Industrial Park.
Engineer Enoch Kalema from MBW Consulting, a firm that supervised the project said they could have completed the work earlier but they were disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic and floods on Lake Albert and heavy rains.