President Museveni has today Friday broke ground for the upgrading to Bitumen Standard of the 78.5km Rukungiri-Kihiihi-Ishasha/ Kanungu road which will connect western Uganda to the Democratic Republic of Congo Via Ishasha Bridge.
The project estimated at a cost of Shs 207.8b is being co-funded by the African Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of Uganda under the Road Sector Support Project V (RSSP V)
AfDB will raise 85.12 percent of the funding with Uganda topping up 14.89 percent.
The project is being constructed by China Henan International Corporation under the supervision of Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) which is also the implementer.
The commission of the construction work end years of fighting between road contractors and UNRA.
The roads authority boss Allen Kagina fought back against efforts to compel UNRA to hire a contractor which had a poor work record to construct the road.
Speaking at a ceremony held at Kanungu Town Council playground, the president asked the people of Kanungu to use the road protectively.
The President argued the residents to use the little land and resources to gain more. He asked them to plant tea, coffee and fruits in order to benefit from the NRM developments.
The president further promised to work on other roads of Nyakishenyi, Kizinzi, Nkembene, Rubare and others and the tourism roads leading to Bwindi national park.
“This road was financed by a loan for ADB which we are supposed to finance annually, so literary, it is the government of Uganda financing the road. We shall use all means possible to ensure that the remaining roads are also worked on,” he said
The chairman Board UNRA, Fred Omach said the road once completed in 2021 will facilitate social economic activities in the area, improve standards of living, facilitate regional integration and cross border trade with Congo as well as support tourism
“As UNRA, we are starting on Electronic-procurement to ensure faster procurement of future roads and avoid disruptions like ones that had stalled the Rukungiri Kanungu road,” he said.
The State Minister for Works and Transport, Katumba Wamala urged residents to be disciplined and work diligently at the project and avoid vandalizing machines at the project
The project which will be done in two parts will include civil works for the upgrading of the existing gravel surface road from Rukungiri to Ishasha (52.2km) and Kanungu to North of Kihihi (26.3km) to Bitumen Standard with Carriageway width of 7 meters and 2 meters wide paved shoulders.
Additional parking, lanes, drainage structures with bridges, box culverts, pipe culverts and lined and underlined side drains will also be included in the project.