Following a heavy downpour, on a chilly Thursday, April 21, 2022, Hon. Musa Ecweru waved the Ugandan flag to pave way for the rehabilitation of the strategic Lira-Kamdini Road (78Km).
This development followed renewed interest by the President of Uganda H.E Yoweri Kaguta Museveni. During a meeting with legislators from Lango Sub Region on January 22, 2022; Museveni disclosed that he had resolved to self-finance the project.
“We are going to fund it like we did with Kamwenge–Fort Portal Road because the situation of the road is very bad,” President Museveni assured.
This change of mind is understood to have arisen after the Government of Uganda failed to make headways with the original financiers, the World Bank (WB).
At the ground-breaking ceremony which was held at Barimindyag in Kole District, Ecweru, the Minister of State for Works and Transport, shed some light on the matter.
“He (Museveni) said, ‘if this hurdle with World Bank is becoming too high for us to jump, and the suffering is continuing, why don’t we suspend it and do it as Uganda?’ He directed us to look for resources to fix this road,” he added.
Although the Government of Uganda had already contracted Portuguese firm Mota-Engil to rehabilitate Lira-Kamdini, the company was unable to get a certificate of compliance to Environmental, Health, Social and Safety provisions, which is a prerequisite for World Bank-funded projects.
As such, Mr. Ecweru explained that it was not of Government’s making to delay the rehabilitation.
“President Museveni and his government is not one of empty promises. When he (President Museveni) makes a promise, he does not promise air,” he elaborated.
Present at the ceremony was the Health Minister Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng and the Chairperson of the Lango Parliamentary Group Judith Alyek, among others.
Speaking on Thursday, Aceng the Minister of Health, who also doubles as the Woman Member of Parliament Lira City, thanked President Museveni for resolving this matter promptly.
“I want to thank His Excellency as well for fulfilling his pledge, but also in a timely manner because many people kept on saying that it won’t work,” she observed.
“So, the doubting Thomases will come to use the road and then give their testimonies,” Aceng added.
However, she also recognized the Lango Parliamentary Group (LPG) for its well-coordinated efforts.
“I want to thank the people of Lango for your patience, perseverance and unity. This is what has worked, and we must continue to be united if we are to achieve the work that is ahead of us, and that is, bringing development to Lango sub-region.”
The Lira-Kamdini stretch (78Km) is part of the North-Eastern Road Corridor Asset Management Project (NERAMP) – the country’s first longest road project that has been awarded to a Portuguese firm Mota-Engil Africa. The 340Km stretch covers Tororo-Mbale-Soroti-Dokolo-Lira-Kamdini Road.
In his remarks; Hon. Musa Ecweru said that he will do all it takes to ensure that a quality road is delivered, “I must do support supervision regularly. So, I will be coming to check on these people almost every two weeks to see the progress, and I will be coming with a team of independent Engineers, who will be assessing.”