LIRA – The World Bank funded program of upgrading roads in Lira City under Uganda Support to Municipal Infrastructure Development (USMID) has kicked off after months of delay.
The contract worth Shs 35b to tarmac roads within the industrial city was awarded to Abubakari Technical Services in a joint venture with M/S Al-Nuami Group.
It was signed in April 2021 and was due to run for 15 months but the contractor delayed sparking off public outbursts and queries over the quality of their work and capacity to accomplish the task in time.
The roads earmarked and undergoing reconstruction include; Uhuru Park, Obangakene, Bala, Noteber, Olwol, Boundary road including children’s park at Adyel and completion of coronation park.
The World Bank project started in 2013 with 14 Municipalities which included; Fort Portal, Hoima, Kabale, Mbarara, Arua, Lira, Masaka, Entebbe, Jinja, Tororo, Mbale, Soroti, Moroto, and Gulu.
In 2019, it added eight others, Lugazi, Kasese, Kamuli, Mubende, Apac, Kitgum, Ntungamo, and Busia to make a total of 23 municipalities.
Its target was to enhance institutional performance which includes revenue collection and service delivery among others.
The City engineer, Freddie Owiny said the work started on 1st November and they expect it to be delivered within the contract period.
“The contractor assured us that they will complete the work in time and will not ask for more time,” Owiny said.
This is the third phase of the program after the second phase ended in 2019. The work was delivered by a Chinese company, Chongqing International Construction Corporation (CICO). They worked on Obote Avenue, Kwania, and Soroti roads.
Other roads which were tarmacked under the project include; Maruzi, Oyite Ojok lane, Aroma lane, Awangemola, Mama Miria, and Oyam road among others including installing street lights,
The President of Lira City Development Forum, Moris Chris Ongom said, people should not start castigating and blaming the company for having limited equipment.
“I personally think they have financial challenges but I know they will be able to finish the work in time,” he said.
Ongom`s concerns followed a red flag raised by Mike Ogwal and Daniel Okello over the equipment the company has assembled including unconvincing work.
Ogwal represents the people of Kakooge ward in the Lira City West division while Okello is the Speaker.
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