Uganda is set to construct a bridge in the Arua District under a new agreement with the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) at a cost of US $1.7m in funding from the government of Japan.
Isaac Tibihika, Senior Engineer, Ministry of Works and Transport, confirmed the reports and said that construction of the bridge is aimed at supporting economic and social development more so of displaced people.
“The construction of the bridge is a timely intervention, which has come at a time when government of Uganda has prioritized improvement of rural roads accessibility in the National Development Plan,” said Isaac Tibihika.
The bridge dubbed ‘Nyara bridge’ will serve 157,000 people who currently live within the Rhino Camp Settlement and Rhino Camp Extension. It is expected to reduce travel distances, especially across the river during the rainy season, and road transportation will be strengthened overall.
“The construction of Nyara bridge will improve local trade and support better interactions between the communities of Omugo and Ofua. Notably, improving infrastructure in Arua will increase access to economic activities and social services by vulnerable people,” noted Idris Ahmed, UNOPS Head of Support Services.
Uganda currently hosts the largest number of refugees in Africa, with over 1.2 million refugees currently residing in the country. In order to mitigate accumulating burdens, Japan has been supporting the refugees and host communities.The government has also formulated progressive refugee policies.
Through this project and over a period of two years until October 2021, the government of Japan and UNOPS will contribute to inter-community integration, towards better livelihoods for the refugees and host communities in Arua.