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On March 28 2013, the World Bank board of Executive Directors approved an International Development Association (IDA) credit of US$150 million to finance urban infrastructures and improve service delivery in 14 municipalities in Uganda.

GULU-UGANDA: Gulu Municipal Council authority and a Chinese firm; China Henan International Cooperation Group Company Limited (CHICCCO) has signed a contract to tarmac a further ten roads within the Municipality.

This one year contract worth shs.25 billion and covering 4.06 kilometers of 10 urban roads will be executed under the World Bank’s Uganda Support to Municipal Infrastructure Development (USMID). This is the second phase of the construction works by the same company. The first phase worth shs.16 billion and covering 6.7 of six roads is nearing completion.

The signing ceremony, which took place on Wednesday, March 16, 2016 at Churchill Courts Hotel in Gulu town, was witnessed by a number of local dignitaries including the Resident District Commissioner (RDC), Mr. Santos Okot-Lapolo, the media and Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), Ms. Dorothy Ajwang.

USMID is a six-year project which the World Bank and Uganda government came out with to expand urban infrastructures and enhance the capacity of the 14 municipalities to generate own source of revenue, improved urban planning and strengthen financial management, procurement, environment and social systems.

Other Municipalities benefitting from USMID program are Arua, Lira, Soroti, Moroto, Mbale, Tororo, Jinja, Entebbe, Masaka, Mbarara, Fort Portal, Kabale and Hoima. Uganda government is contributing US$10 million from the Local Development Grant (LDG). Uganda has 22 municipalities.

USMID is meant to support these benefitting Municipalities with road works and associated infrastructures like liquid and solid waste management, Water and Sewage, local economic infrastructure such as markets and urban transport.

Officiating over the ceremony, the RDC Mr. Santos Okot-Lapolo warned Gulu Municipal Council Authorities not to look at roads construction only, but to pay keen interest in the water channels that flow into the Ooitino dam, the main water supply to the town.

He accused Gulu Independent Hospital of poisoning the dam with radioactive substances since the hospital has connected its sewage line to the water channel which now feeds the dam with contaminated water.

“Water situation in Gulu town is so bad because water channels to the dam are contaminated with human waste and wastes from Gulu Independent Hospital.  If we are not careful, then the people of Gulu town are consuming radioactive substances from the hospital inform of contaminated water”. He says adding “we are going to have beautiful roads, but what is that to a poor people who cannot afford hospital fees?”

He revealed to Gulu Municipal Authorities that he has given directive to Gulu Independent Hospital a one week ultimatum to disconnect their sewage line away from the water channel which flows into Ooitino dam; otherwise the facility will be closed.

“You (Hospital) deliberately want to make people fall sick so that they come to your facility for treatment and you make more money. Cabbages are sharing the same water source with lagoons. What will happen to the health of those who enjoy eating raw cabbage with pork?”

The UB Consulting Engineers Limited Executive Director Dr. Godfrey Mwesige warned that, the Asphalt  roads which are built to last 25 years, will not last that long in Gulu Municipal Authorities allow garages to operate from the pavements because if they spill diesel on the roads it will dissolve it, making the roads to develop pot-holes early.

The CHICCCO main contractor, Mr. Duan Kongchun, said CHICCCO was the first Chinese firm to come to do business in Uganda in 2009 and promised to do timely quality work so as to build confidence. He promised to employ locals to do most of the work.

The President of Gulu Municipal Development Forum (GMDF), Mr. George Aligec Lapir observed that there is need to harmonize works on drainages within the Municipality between the drainage constructed by Uganda National Road Authority (UNRA) and the roads under USMID program. Under USMID program, drainages are closed with slap-covers while under UNRA constructed roads, drainages are wide and open.




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