The outgoing Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) board chairperson has called continued financial support for the government-funded roads to facilitate timely completion and guarantee quality.
Angela Kiryabwire said the Government should ensure continuity in the funding for road projects in the country to avoid extra expenses that arise from delays.
Kiryabwire made the remarks while carrying out an on-the-spot inspection of the 74km Mukono-Katosi-Nyenga road. The road is among projects fully funded by the government.
She further pointed out that although works on the Mukono-Katosi-Nyenga road are behind schedule, the problem was not caused by the contractor and consulting engineers but the major challenge was due to the limited access to the right of way as a result of unpaid compensation to the land owners.
“Timely payment of the road contractors and consulting engineers as well as resolving issues related to people affected by the road project (PAPs) through the existing legal framework is still a problem affecting this road,” Kiryabwire said.
She however called on the local communities to alert the Government through UNRA on where the contractors have not performed to their expectations.
“Road contractors are human beings and can make mistakes. Raise the issues where you feel they have not performed well before the completion of the projects. Safeguard the road furniture in your respective areas,” she urged the residents.
The US$ 71m road project is being contracted by SBI and Reynolds Construction Company RCC and completed works on the 74 km road currently stands at 66% but behind schedule.
The sitting UNRA board which has served for two terms will be leaving office this month in February, 2017 and the minister of works is expected to appoint another board chairperson and other board members.
Mary Kutesa, UNRA Director for legal affairs said that they are still facing challenges in the acquisition of the right way for national road projects. Eng. Samuel Muhoozi, UNRA’s Director for roads and bridges also said that they are monitoring the contractors to ensure good service delivery through adherence to specifications of the roads as per the contracts.
The mandate of UNRA is to develop and maintain the national roads network, advise Government on general roads policy and contribute to addressing of transport concerns, among others.