Uganda: Gulu City Nabs Second Spot In Efficient Execution of World Bank Project

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Mayor Labeja hands over motor cycle keys to Bardege LC3 Chairman Patrick Oola Lumumba

[Development]

GULU, Uganda--In 2013, the World Bank Board of Executive Directors approved an International Development Association (IDA) credit of $150 million to finance urban infrastructure and improve service delivery in 14 municipalities in Uganda.

The city of Gulu has nabbed the second spot, after the city of Jinja, in ratings of which municipality was most efficient in project performance.

The six-year Uganda Support to Municipal Infrastructure Development (USMID) project aimed at expanding urban infrastructure, and enhance the capacity of the 14 municipal local governments to generate own source revenues, improve urban planning, and strengthen financial management, procurement, environmental and social systems.

Two weeks ago, World Bank assessed the progress of the USMID project and the function was held in Mbarara Municipality. Jinja emerged the best with 98% in all areas of procurement, environment and infrastructural development through the USMID grant While Gulu got the second position with 96% followed by Arua with 95%.

The World bank gave the 14 municipalities discretion in selecting priority projects from a menu including roads and associated infrastructure;  liquid and solid waste management; water and sewerage; local economic infrastructure (e.g. markets); and  urban transport (e.g. bus terminals). The Fourteen beneficiary municipalities include Arua, Gulu, Lira, Soroti, Moroto, Mbale, Tororo, Jinja, Entebbe, Masaka, Mbarara, Kabale, Fort Portal and Hoima. Gulu has so far constructed more than 6 miles of roads that has given a facelift to the former epicenter of the two decades of conflict between the government and by the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA).

“We would have been number one again but because of small things lacking, we were number two, which is not good because that goes with the amount of money a municipality gets in the next phase,” says George Labeja, Gulu Municipality Mayor. In 2016, Gulu Municipality was ranked number one out of the 14 municipalities in the country in terms of implementing USMID project.

Five Yamaha motor cycles have thus been procured and handed over to the four divisions today by the Municipal town clerk, Francis Barabanawe. The Motor cycles were procured using the Capacity building fund from the Uganda Support to Municipality Infrastructure Development, USMID to help in revenue mobilization within the municipality, by allowing employees to travel to more locations.

While handing over the motorcycles to the division chairpersons at Gulu Municipal Council office premise, Barabanawe warned the division leaders against misuse and individual attachment to the motor cycles.

“Use these motor bikes for revenue mobilization and you must make sure they are well maintained. Add it to the others you have but don’t tag to individuals such that when they are absent, work cannot go on. Assign them to people so that a lot of work is done,” the town clerk instructed.

“These motor bikes are to bring more money to the division and not for personal use,” Labeja, the mayor, adds.

By 2019, about $160 million would have been disbursed for the first phase of the development grant for its first six years. 

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