Oil industry-support-markets to be commissioned in December

Urban Development State Minister, Mr Kania Mario Obiga and other officials inspect Biiso market under construction in Buliisa District.

The three modern oil industry-support-modern markets under construction in Hoima, Buliisa and Kikuube districts will be complete for handover to government on December 8, this year.

This was revealed by the project contractor, Techno Three Contractors, during an inspection visit made by State Minister for Urban Development, Mr Kania Obiga.

Eng. Robert Kakiiza, the Contract Manager said that the project was 75 per cent complete despite challenges encountered along the way including skilled labour shortage in the communities and access to some materials from far away in Kampala.

Sound bite: Kakiiza on project (English)

In his inspection, the Minister held abrupt interactions with the project beneficiary communities on the roadsides to test their impression.

While at Kibboirya village in Kitoba sub-county, Hoima district, Mr Nelson Ayebale welcomed the upgrading of their Buhamba Iseisa-Kibboirya Road saying it has already improved business at Aliwara market in Kigorobya sub-county.

“People can quickly move to buy or sell food and other goods in the market. It was hard in the past. We just have a challenge of accidents”, said Mr Ayebale.

Mr Fred Lukumu, the Buliiisa District Chairman, described the apparent infrastructural development as an indicator that oil is beneficial to society bearing in the past experience of road network and markets in the region.

On the question of land security, the minister was requested to look into taking affirmative action to ensure that the local people can acquire land titles and be assured of land security for development.

The modern markets and roads are expected to help the communities to benefit from the oil industry through providing market to mainly agricultural products as long as they will embrace strategic production.

A drainage under construction in Buliisa Town Council.

While speaking to the press at Kabaale Market, Mr Obiga urged the Albertine region dwellers especially agriculturalists to scale up production of goods in order to benefit from the huge market coming along with the multi-billion dollar investment ahead of oil production.

He directed the respective district leaders to work with the contractor to address issues raised by communities including access roads and drainage channels’ completion before the roads are officially handed over to government.

The minister expressed dismay over reports that district land boards have corruption tendencies that are facilitating land grabbing and delayed acquisition of land titles by the ordinary people.

“The district councils should recommend to us to dismiss corrupt civil servants with immediate effect because they are in office to serve the public without segregation”, said Mr Obiga.

Sound bite: Obiga on civil servants graft (English)
Kabaale market under construction in Buseruka Sub-county, Hoima District.

The markets and roads are among the components of the World Bank funded Albertine Region Sustainable Development Project (ARSDP).

The three markets under construction cost Shs9.9b while 7.3 kilometres of polished roads in Buliisa district cost about Shs26b.

Each of the markets under construction is designed to accommodate 2,000 vendors and buyers.
The market will provide furniture for vendors, Ventilated Improved Pit latrines, kitchens (restaurants), fish cleaning and drying areas outside the markets enclosure, solar power connections and piped water.

Mr Vincent Byendaimire, the Acting Director of Physical Planning in the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, said that Walukuba market in Buliisa district has also been considered for development under that same ARSDP project as they continue lobbying for more funding.

The government recognises the Albertine region as a special planning area to establishment of oil production facilitating infrastructure including central processing facilities, the oil refinery, industrial parks and anticipated urbanisation and population boom.

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