Government Tuesday handed over three multibillion contracts to two Chinese construction firms to design and construct three major roads to ease urban mobility and reduce traffic snarl-ups.The new roads projects which will cost more than Shs500 billion are fully funded by the government of Uganda under the National Road Development and Maintenance Programme (NRDMP) Budget.While handing over the contracts at the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) offices in Kampala, Ms Allen Kagina, the authority executive director, said all the preparatory work for the construction have been accomplished, including the land acquisition and they expect the contractors to start working on the roads within three months.
Upgrading of Kira-Matugga road and improvement of five road junctionsThe Kira – Matugga road which was handed over to Chongqing International Construction Corporation (CICO) will cost over Shs200 billion and expected to be finished within 36 months. The new improvements will have provisions of two-metre segregated pedestrian walkways and two-metre segregated cycle lane on each side of the road and boda-boda stages at each of the signalized junctions along Kyaliwajjala-Matugga road together with solar powered lighting along the entire length of the road.
Ms Kagina re-affirmed that UNRA had already secured land for right of way with so far 50 percent of the land needed to construct the road.“The land acquisition process for Kira- Matugga road is ongoing and is being managed by the UNRA in-house team. A total of 6.5 km of the right of way have been acquired representing 56.12 percent of the total land area required and the entire right of way is expected to be acquired by June 2021,” said Mrs Kagina.
The rehabilitation of Masaka Town roads with a bitumen surfaced link starting along the Kampala-Masaka highway and terminating on Masaka-Mbarara Highway will cost Shs50 billion. This will help reduce on vehicle operating costs and improve the flow of traffic from Nyendo Trading Center to Masaka Central Business District.
Local manpowerThe initial procurement process for the Masaka road restricted to only local or resident providers, however, it was not successful as there was no substantially responsive bidder. Subsequently, the procurement was conducted through Open Domestic Bidding method to get an international firm.Ms Kagina said the government had reserved 30 percent of the works on the road to be done by the local contractors to build their capacities for bigger future contracts.
She said a project management team is already in place to monitor the performance of local content compliance in the contract.“During construction for the Masaka roads, local people; on average over 200 locals will benefit from employment opportunities working on the road sites and/or various economic activities to support the construction works,” stated Ms Kagina.
The upgrading of Najjanankumbi-Busabala road (11km) with two signalized junctions and solar powered lighting will cost Shs258 billion.Ms Kagina said the Busabala road will help “reduce dust nuisance along the road and the related health hazards.”The roads agency lauded the community for willingly offering land to construct all the outlined roads and asked the community to continue supporting government development projects.
“On a very special note, UNRA would like to note that this is an example of a project where we have successfully partnered with the communities along the road corridor to realise a public good. This has been ably exhibited by the Project Affected Persons willingly offering land for the right of way without being compensated. We commend and applaud this community and its leadership for this spirit of partnership,” stated Ms Kagina.