Uganda National Roads Authority ( @UNRA_UG) through its director @UNRA_ED has revealed it has started renovating the Karuma-Arua Road which stretches from Olwiyo in Nwoya District to Pakwach bridge in Pakwach District. The road to being rehabilitated measures a length of 62.5 kilometers. #WhisperEyeNews #UgandaNews #Uganda
In 2001, about 21 years ago, the government borrowed UGX 100 billion from the International Development Association (IDA) to improve the status of the road and upgrade it to a class II Bitumen surface with drainage channels, culverts, and shoulders.
The project started in 2004 from Karuma to Pakwach under the construction of SBI International Holdings AG (U). During that period, there was easy and fast movement on that road. However, the project ended in 2006, and most sections are now worn out.
Due to the bad spots on the Karuma-Arua Road, its users spend more hours (10 hours) from Arua to Kampala, yet it connects the country to the West Nile Sub-region, DRC, and South Sudan.
Jacob Owiny a truck driver who usually uses the Karuma-Olwiyo-Pakwach-Nebbi-Arua road when interviewed said that the road it’s not vehicle friendly and always causes his vehicle to break down. “The road is in a bad state because I have spent much money on vehicle repair” he added.
Allan Ssempebwa, the UNRA spokesperson, said the UGX 177 billion to renovate the road has been awarded to National Enterprise Corporation and China Railway Seventh Group to jointly rehabilitate the road.“The road is fully funded by the government and the works are expected to be completed in 24 months. The contractor is now taking forward maintenance to ensure that the road is motorable before they start major works,” Ssempebwa added.
Ssempebwa further encouraged road users that although the road is being renovated, the repairs will not take long to deter movement as just four years ago, UNRA spent billions of money to renovate the same road.“Our assurance to the public and users is that the road is under full rehabilitation and they should brace for a completely different user experience,” Ssempebwa said.
He said that the works expected to be done, include: improving the drainage system, expanding the roadways, and putting new surfaces.
Emmanuel Orach, the Nwoya District chairman, said that the road works will not only improve the transport system but also create employment opportunities for the neighboring communities and hence improve their standards of living.
He said that it will also boost revenue in the upcoming trade centers.
The Karuma-Arua Road, measuring 233 km, which Musa Ecweru assured Ugandans, is part of the government’s projects planned for repair on the national road network. The rehabilitation works are in a phased manner.
UNRA shall also ensure that any required short-term maintenance works will not stop the road from functioning even during the renovation.
However, the Karuma-Arua Road is not the only planned road to be renovated as the government, through Uganda Road Fund (URF), earlier this year released over USh91 billion to maintain city roads, local governments, municipalities, and town councils in the country.
This information was published in an announcement made by the URF Executive Director, Dr. Andrew Naimanye to all accounting officers in a letter dated 2nd June 2022.
It was revealed that the 90 billion funds have been obtained from the 1.4 trillion supplementary budget released by the permanent secretary of the Ministry of Finance, Ramathan Ggoobi, on May 30th, 2022.
According to the letter dated 2nd June 2022, the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) took a share of USh70 billion, followed by Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) with USh9 billion, USh4.9 billion to 135 districts and their town councils, USh2.3 billion to cities and USh4.8 billion to 31 municipalities.
However, till today some sub-counties have not received the funds but Dr Naimanye said the funds have not yet been released to some sub-counties due to the aforementioned budget constraints.