Heavy rains that occurred towards the end of last year 2019 caused a roads financing deficit of Shs 44b according to Uganda National Roads Authority.
Between September and December, Uganda received unexpected heavy rains that destroyed roads, especially Murram roads, bridges among others.
According to the UNRA Executive Director Allen Kagina, the authority spent over Shs44b to repair the damaged roads which affected their 2019/2020 budget.
“The heavy rains have slowed down works and spoilt networks, cutting off some roads which constrained the stations that are already faced with inadequacy for Force Account works, inadequate supervision transport and inadequate funds released,” Kagina said.
This was at the half year performance highlights press briefing held at UNRA’s office in Nakawa.
Kagina further noted that some projects that were contracted to Chinese Companies have also been affected by the Corona Virus outbreak as some of the workers had gone home for a certain festive when the disease broke out.
“There are restrictions and long processes that have to be followed before any of those workers can travel and return to Uganda and hence their work here has come to a standstill, however as a sector, we are very alert and ensuring Uganda is not exposed to risks. We are taking maximum precautions,” she said.
On the ongoing projects, Kagina said that in the first 6 months of 2019/2020, UNRA is currently working on 23 roads (new constructions and upgrading gravel to paved bituminous standards) covering a total distance of 1,581.7km.
For this particular financial year, UNRA targets 400km. For the half year, UNRA had completed 204km representing a 50% achievement. The Authority expects to cover 417km by end of the year despite the limitations in funding.
Kagina further added that the Authority was focusing on promotion of local content in all its projects with all road construction projects below Shs 45b going to local constructs as well as 30% of every project.
“In the last two financial years, 2017/2018 and 2018/2019, contracts worth Shs 1trillion (24% of all contracts) and 737b (28%) respectively, signed by UNRA were awarded to local contractors or resident providers.