By Spy Uganda
Land Minister Judith Nabakooba has inspected the USMID roadworks in the districts of Mubende and Fort Portal to track the progress as the project nears the completion date of December 2023. The minister who was meeting district heads and technical leadership of the district cautioned them on the beauty of doing the work in the stipulated time frame.
In Fort Portal, the Minister realised that the City is still behind schedule on the completion rate and asked them to speed up the process if they need to be considered for the third funding. “Fort Portal is still behind, I realised mobilisation of equipment has just started, the impact assessment is just being done, the communities are also being sensitised meaning that the actual works have not yet started. I told them it is high time they improve on the speed of delivering the project,” she said.
Nabakooba attributed the delay in Fort Portal to poor communication and lackof coordination between the technical and political leadership. “To me this was a big challenge. I gave the mayor and head of technical staffthree weeks to see how they can put their house in order to enable us to begin the project on time because we have a deadline to meet.”
Innocent Ssekizivu, the Mayor Mubende Municipality thanked the government of Uganda for having considered Mubende municipality to be added on the towns to benefit from USMID. He shared that Mubende has gained a lot from USMID such as money for physical planning, money for garbage management on top of the roads they have received.
“So far, we are in completion of two and a half roads and we have kicked off a program of 5.8 kilometres. We are going to construct a market and a park plus the beautification of the Mayor’s gardens. All these have been achieved by USMID funding. We are very grateful for this,”he said.The mayor explained that Mubende has 324 kilometres of road coverage and most of the roads still need improvement. He requested the minister to consider Mubende if chance for the third funding comes around.In Mubende, minister Nabakooba re-echoed the issue of timelines incompleting the project saying as leaders, politically and technically, have to supervise the progress of the work to enable them deliver before the deadline.
“If we delay and dilly dally around, we might not have the project delivered on time yet Ugandans are expecting results. They know the president gave them roads but when you go on ground and road construction has not started then it beats the whole purpose of what the president wished for the people of the whole area,” she said adding that she is going to be supervising and monitoring wherever she gets time to see that USMID programs are moving as planned.
According to Nabakooba, the routine inspections on the progress of the works is to ensure timelines and also know the challenges contractors might be facing impending them from beating the stipulated deadline since they have a successor project that can only be attained if the running project is on time and as planned. While in Mubende, the minister also met local leaders who had convened for a workshop on the dissemination of the municipal solid waste management strategies in USMID-AF.
She commended them for driving the agenda of looking at USMID as a project that is changing the face of urban centres, not only the roads but the general outlook of cities and municipalities.
“We want to create ownership and active participation of members of the public because they are the ones that generate waste but need to have a strategy on how to dispose it. Express your concerns as you discuss the strategies, it will help on implementation by the district leaders. In the city if you work on roads, health and water, development is easy. It is good you have development plans, it is important that divisions are well planned since it helps in fostering development rather than leaving people unguided, something that will bring about slums.”