The construction of roads and a bus terminal in Kitgum Municipality is set to start after the Ministry of Lands Housing and Urban Development finalized the procurement process for a consultancy firm.
Kitgum Municipality is among the eight urban centres in the country that received fund last year from World Bank under the Uganda Support to Municipal Infrastructure Development [USMID] programme for construction of modern roads, bus terminals, installation of solar street lights and street beautification.
Under the project, Kitgum received 6.2 billion shillings in June last year meant to undertake the first phase of three years’ infrastructural component. The project however lagged behind due to delays by government to procure a consultant.
Emmanuel Banya, the Kitgum Municipal Council Town clerk disclosed that government has procured Comptran Engineering & Planning Associates, a consultancy firm from Ghana that will undertake designing of roads in the municipality.
According to Banya, the new consultant will in the next one week begin the process of designing Pager River, selected roads and the bus terminal.
He says once the designs are concluded, they will be in position to have the procurement documents that enables them to procure the actual contractor to start infrastructural works expected in the next financial year.
Banya says the move is a blessing since the consultancy firm will do designs that covers the five years’ project period until 2023, minus procurement of another consultancy firm.
Under the same project, the municipal council has also procured consultants for property valuation and physical planning within the municipality. The firms are Latitude physical planners and peak consultants that will undertake physical planning and valuation of properties respectively.
Banya notes that the physical planning component will help the municipality get the right property rates from which they can earn money through levying property taxes.
The procurement has excited some of the residents of Kitgum municipality who believe the new infrastructural development will propel the area into a great business hub.
Michael Ocaya, a trader in central division says although Kitgum has lagged behind in terms of infrastructural development, the current tarmac roads within has enabled it to attract businessmen from outside.
He notes that once the USMID project is implemented, the area will attract a number of other businesses which will help to develop the municipality.
Nancy Acayo, a tenant in West land parish in central division, one of the slums in the municipality on the other says there is need for equity in extending infrastructural development to all corners of the municipality.
She says although other area is developing and having a number of roads allocated for construction, their area is yet to see such benefits.
Early this year, the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development cancelled two roads, parts of 3 kilometres roads selected by the municipal council citing they don’t have any economic benefit under the project. The cancelled roads are hilltop and Tito Okello Lutwa.
The roads that have so far been approved and will undergo designing are Philip Odonga, Janani Luwum, Lakidi, Kitgum Road, Apila road, Park Avenue, Louis Ongom, Dr Panganini, Sirayo Nyeko, Daudi Okello and Oneka Road.
Others are Tongpur, Oyaa Hellen Dean, Tabu Odongto and Bwana Gweno roads.