By Dedan Kimathi
As part of a wider plan aimed at drastically reducing traffic congestion in Kampala and other surrounding areas, the government of Uganda has moved to fast track completion of the second phase of the Kampala Northern Bypass project.
Speaking to ChimpReports during an onsite inspection tour of excavation works at the Ntinda Roundabout on Thursday, the State Minister for works General Edward Katumba Wamala said the four-lane dual carriage road shall go a long way in reducing travel time and accelerating economic growth.
“The number of roads being developed, this inclusive, is part of our national development agenda. This project is intended not only to ease mobility within the city but also enhance trade with neighboring areas through transportation of goods,” he points out.
On his part, the European Ambassador and head of delegation to Uganda, Attilio Pacifici commended the progress attained so far and reaffirmed the European Union’s commitment towards solving Uganda’s infrastructural bottlenecks.
“As European Union we are proud of this excellent partnership. What the minister and his people are doing is great and we are fully behind them,” Attilio noted.
Besides that, Katumba Wamala who was in the company of Allen Kagina, the Executive Director Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) and Matia Kasaija, the Finance Minister used this moment to sound a clarion call for cooperation from the general public.
According to Katumba, construction of this road has largely lagged behind schedule because of compensation wrangles involving landlords and tenants.
“The main challenge has been getting consent from the landlords and tenants on whom to compensate. We now have assurance that we have 80 percent of the required land for construction and all is set,” Katumba explained.
However in response, William Matovu the head of land acquisition at UNRA brushed away any fears saying that apparently, access to site stands at 95 percent whereas 75 percent of the project affected persons (PAPs) have already been paid.
“We did an audit review and actually paid those that had not been compensated. Currently, we are engaging those who are still dragging their feet,” said Matovu.
The ongoing second phase of the Kampala Northern Bypass which is partly financed by a European Union 40 million Euro grant is expected to be completed by the close of 2021. It comes on the heels of the first phase which came to a grind in 2009 having started in 2004.
According to a communiqué from the Uganda National Roads Authority, the road is expected to have three pedestrian bridges at Kyebando, Ntinda and Naalya roads upon completion.
Also as part of other provisions, there will be six separated interchanges at Hoima, Gayaza, Bukoto-Kyebando, Ntinda and Naalya roads.