KAMPALA — Government has earmarked up to UGX 2.3 trillion for road construction under the Greater Kampala Metropolitan Area (GKMA) urban development programme.
GKMA comprises of Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA), Mpigi, Wakiso, and Mukono Districts and Nansana, Kira, Mukono, Makindye-Ssabagabo and Entebbe Municipal Local Governments.
The development was confirmed by Dr. Joseph Muvawala, the Executive Director National Planning Authority (NPA) during the Wakiso District Investment Conference held at Peniel Beach Hotel in Entebbe Municipality on Thursday July 13.
“We are going to do all the major roads in the Greater Kampala Metropolitan Area because over 70% percent of our Non Agricultural GDP is within GMKA. If this country is to grow very fast, we need to invest in GMKA so that GDP grows very fast so that we get money to distribute to other areas who are very poor,” Dr. Muvawala said during an interview.
The NPA Executive Director said GMKA region is well positioned to be the engine to drive the positive structural transformation that is aspired by the Uganda Vision 2040.
“We have gotten over USD 600 million (about UGX 2.3 trillion) for all major roads in Wakiso, and Mukono Districts and Nansana, Kira, Mukono, Makindye-Sabagabo and Entebbe Municipal
Local Governments to boost connectivity and accessibility,” he added.
Dr. Muvawala said the government is looking at roads that connect to the capital city to reduce travel time of dwellers but also create a conducive environment for doing business.
He said every district and municipality will get an additional UGX 1 billion for road maintenance.
Dr. Muvawala said that the Greater Kampala area contributes between 60 to 70 per cent of Uganda’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), hosts 46 per cent of all formal employment in the country and represents 10 per cent of the country’s population.
“GKMA is also the heart of Ugandan industry; with 70 per cent of the country’s manufacturing plants are clustered in the GKMA and subsequently produces a third of Uganda’s manufacturing GDP, moreover this happens in the face of many challenges including uncoordinated planning,” he said— noting that if the government invested more in the GKMA and harnessed its economic potential, it would achieve even a higher contribution to GDP, provide the foundation for the economic growth for the whole country and achieve the middle-income status sooner than later.
The conference was held under the theme ‘Harnessing Investment Opportunities in Wakiso’ and aimed at identifying solutions for Wakiso District and its constituencies, including Nansana, Kira, Makindye Ssabagabo, and Entebbe. Other partners for the conference also included Uganda Development Forum which was formed to steer economic development in the country.
State Minister for Kampala and Metropolitan Affairs, Kabuye Kyofatogabye said actual works will be implemented in phases starting in January 2024.
He said the government will start with Namulanda Road to serve the government facilities in Bwebajja, Nakawuka Road, Buloba Nsangi, Matugga-Wakiso and Sentema Road from Masengere Building
“We are constructing 610KMs. It’s a total of about 200 roads. The length of urban roads is small because most of them are below 10KMs. You’re going to see a lot of work going on starting January because next month (August) and December, we will be going through contracting processes by January, actual work is starting,” the Kampala Minister said.
The Minister however said the government has no money to compensate the Project Affected Persons.
“We don’t have money for compensation and we are appealing to all those Project Affected Persons to give us 1.5 meters on each side of the road so the works can start. We can borrow money to come and compensate you yet we are trying to bring services closer to you,” the Minister said.
“We shall delay these Programmes if we go into the confusion of compensation. Our appeal is simple, we want just 1.5 meters of your land which is next to the road so that we can bring you services,” he added.
The needed 1.5 meters land will cater for the provision of road service ducts, cycling lanes and walkways.
He said the only compensation that will be done by the government include reconstruction of fences in areas where the 1.5 meters interfere with the wall fences.
He said 55 Kms have been cleared in Wakiso, out of 137 Kms while 54 Kms have been cleared in Kira Municipality out of 106 KMs to be constructed in the first phase.
All the 54 Kms to be constructed in Makindye Sabagabo in the first phase have been cleared.
Samuel Edem-Maitum, Director Credit at Uganda Development Bank Limited said UDB will support local engineering firms to take up road construction opportunities to support local content.
In these road construction projects that are going to start, there must be a certain percentage of local content but for you to effectively bid, you need local content and you need to be able to raise those bank and performance guarantees to execute those contracts in that framework. As UDB, we will provide those requirements to local companies and will also provide them with contract and asset financing for them to execute those contracts,” Edem-Maitum said.
He said UDB will also build the capacity of local firms to be able to handle bigger contracts locally at a much lower cost.
He said a number of local firms have already submitted applications for financing ahead of bidding slated for August.