Commencement of rehabilitation works on the Masaka-Mutukula Road in Uganda has faced delays. Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja said the government is awaiting funding from the African Development Bank.
The road project is supposed to be funded by an AfDB grant under the NEPAD Infrastructure Project Preparation Facility (NEPAD-IPPF). The grant will finance the Project Preparation phase of three key Multinational Road Sections between Masaka in Uganda to Kumunazi in Tanzania. It covers 89.5km of the Masaka to Mutukula road section in Uganda, a section of 30km from Mutukula to Kyaka linking to another section of 133km from Bugene to Kasulo to Kumunazi in Tanzania.
The single-carriageway road is to be upgraded to class II bitumen surface, with culverts and drainage channels. The road width will be increased to 11 metres. In the town of Kyotera, the width will be further increased to accommodate a 3 metres parking lane.
State of the road
According to the prime minister, feasibility study for the road construction and other details of the project were concluded in October 2020, however, work cannot go on until the approval of the grant request from the African Development Bank.
Masaka-Mutukula Road was built in the 1960s to link and promote trade ties and cooperation between Uganda, Tanzania, and the rest of the East African partners. Currently the state of the 96km-road is appalling, deteriorated over the years and consistently affected the flow of traffic.
Nabbanja observed that a section from Kyotera to Mutukula was last upgraded to class-two bitumen standard or asphalt concrete road in 2003 and transit trucks often get stuck in potholes and often, goods perish when trucks break down and services delay. Commissioning of the Mutukula one-stop customs centre in 2016 has since encouraged a surge of volumes of cargo which has occasioned its gradual deterioration.